Into the battle of spirit on flesh,
spring forward with the frayed,
self does die as penance draws nigh,
though proud demons rage unstayed.
To seek holiness. That is the purpose of life. To know, love and serve God in this life and be happy with Him forever in heaven. We tend to forget that in this modern age. It takes effort. If you don’t work at your spiritual life you won’t have one. The call of the flesh is always. We need to work to overcome it all of the time. We can never drop our guard. The battle goes on.
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.?? (Mt 5:6) Our Lord said. To hunger and thirst is to seek. We must seek holiness to find it. If we seek it we will find it. Our Lord said: “For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.?? If we ask for holiness we are seeking it and it will be given. It goes without saying that if we don’t ask it won’t be given. Ask, seek, and you will find it. This door will be opened. He did not say it would be easy for us. He called it the ‘narrow path’. We are all ‘frayed’. We all need to make a monumental effort to overcome our nature and seek God.
If we do this we will die to ourselves. If we seek God we will find Him. He hides to wait on our wills. His will he for us is life; life on high; life forever in peace and joy, in heaven. He offers it if we but ask and seek it. If we don’t it won’t be ours. To gain it we must do penance, and if we don’t do penance we will perish. Fear not. He said it. “At that time some people who were present there told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with the blood of their sacrifices. He said to them in reply, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were greater sinners than all other Galileans? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did! Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them *—do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem? By no means! But I tell you, if you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” (Lk 13:1-5) Listen to His words!
Escape the wrath of God that awaits those of this world. Escape the just punishment of your sins. Turn to the Lord with all of your heart. That is the call to penance of the Rule of 1221. That is the mission of the life of penance. To give our hearts to Christ. To abandon this world. To live in it, but not be of it. As we draw lives of penance to ourselves we draw close to heaven, to the Lord, and his intentions for us. The devil rages against us, but he cannot handle penitential souls. He is ‘unstayed’ against those of the world, and in devious and unholy ways will bring them to destruction. Souls that do penance draw close to Christ, and foil the devil. Blessed be the Lord!
Come, let us begin, for until now we have done nothing! St. Francis said, repeating the words of the Lord, who said: “When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”(Lk 17:10) Until we die we cannot stop doing penance.
Enter this life of penance…while there is still time.