This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Jesus said: “I tell you, everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
The Lord loves a meek and humble soul. I know this is true, because every time I encounter one in the Confessional, it’s so easy to be gentle and loving.
“For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice” (Hos 6:6). Of course the Lord loves sacrifice. After all, love and sacrifice go together. What the Lord does not love is when we “sacrifice” for ourselves, not for the other. In other words, when we “sacrifice” in order to achieve something, not give something.
We are very sacrificial. A lot of people today are constantly “sacrificing” themselves, but too often in the wrong way. They are killing themselves in school. They are “sacrificing” themselves to make friends. They are busting their behinds to get straight A’s. But what they seem to be truly doing is failing to grasp the authentic meaning of love and sacrifice, and that is essential for any kind of good living.
There’s a lot of talk in schools these days about being someone “special”. There’s a lot of Seniors getting ready to graduate from High School and yet are ill prepared for the challenges of college life. There’s a lot of hype regarding dorm life. All I can say with certainty is this: “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.”
I just got off the phone with a young lady who is a Junior in college. She is religious, virtuous, elegant, sophisticated, smart and hardworking. The good news is she doesn’t think (or believe) she is. This is good, because it keeps her humble in heart and mind. The bad news is she doesn’t understand any of it. And when we don’t understand something, we live in fear of it.
Three years ago, before she left for College, I put her face in my hands and told her, “Don’t lose your head or your faith while you are in College.” She nodded in agreement.
Life for her has been everything but fair and easy. Her childhood was rough. Her high school years were tough. But by the grace of God, she managed to maintain a strong prayer life.
When she first started college, her friends would often tease her for being “too” Catholic; that is, for being too authentic. She is a paradox to her peers: delicate yet strong; sophisticated yet meek; determined yet humble; dignified yet not out-of-reach.
Well, she didn’t like being a paradox. She questioned it. Actually, she questioned everything. But her questions were soon answered when she saw the real-life alternatives.
What convinced her (to keep her head on straight and not to lose her faith) was seeing her friends abuse their minds with drugs, their bodies with thugs and their dignity in promiscuity. [All this by the second semester of her Freshman year!]
She went to a college that is best suited for the financially well off. Most of the kids there have tons of money to spend. Their daddies are “special” daddies. Their mommies are “privileged” mommies. If their kids don’t have one horse it’s because they are two. If their kids didn’t travel around the world this year it’s because they were on an internship somewhere in England or in Hong Kong. All thanks to special “connections”.
This young lady never imagined in a million years she could compete with the crème de la crème. But soon enough, she began to understand things a little bit better. At almost every party she went to, her girlfriends got drunk, vomited and were trashed like garbage by the “special” guys on campus. Every night, the young ladies would crawl into her room and cry to her. And almost every night she would remind them of who they could be. That’s how she did it. That’s how she managed to help them fall asleep.
Unfortunately, with little to no faith, sin is soon forgotten and simply repeated.
Throughout her years in college, this little angel of God would often call me to ask me to pray for her. If she didn’t call, she would text: “Pray for me!!!” Or simply: “Pray!!!” And I did, often. But there were two occasions when she asked me to pray incessantly. The first was when she applied to enter the most important sorority on campus. The second is when she applied to study abroad.
Well, as the months went by and her reputation only grew, the little devils began to brew. They (modernists, feminists and atheists) came up with plans to isolate her from the rest, all because she was the very best. But their plans failed; for low and behold, our little angel was shocked to learn that she had been accepted into the sorority and to study abroad. And just like always, she couldn’t believe that her dreams had become reality. In fact, she still can’t believe it. And that’s okay, as long as she believes in God.
When she came back to the states, the extremely popular sorority she belonged to was in a shocking state! The privileged were suspended for acting very stupid in their drunkenness. When the time came for the administration to choose someone capable of being responsible, guess what? They chose her. She’s now their President.
The second time she called me to pray for her was for an internship. She thought she would never get it. She texted me and said, “I didn’t get it.” But I asked her if that was just her speaking or the company speaking. A few weeks ago I learned she got it, all of it, everything she was hoping to get, for they believed in her more than she believed in herself. That’s okay, as long as she believes in God.
Today, wherever she goes on campus, the little Freshman whisper in each other’s ears, “Look, that’s so-and-so.” Campus administrators invite her to represent the school at this-or-that function. Seniors in her sorority bow down to her and the men look up to her and respect her. This is exactly what modern day feminists hoped to achieve and failed to get: real, authentic, heartfelt respect.
The Lord did not call the righteous to repentance but sinners. This young lady is a sinner, a big sinner! And yet, her saving grace is in the fact that she knows it.
Resolution: Strive not to have more confidence in thyself, but in the Lord.
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