Commencement Speech, Our Lady of Victory School
Post Falls, Idaho
Dear Rev. Father, Esteemed Graduates, and Staff of Our Lady of Victory School,
“Not gold, but only men can make a people strong; Men who for truth and honors sake stand fast and suffer long. Brave men who work while others sleep, who dare while others fly. They build a nation’s pillars deep and lift them to the sky.”
Let me begin today by sincerely congratulating all of you on what you have achieved. I know, in great part, what you have accomplished in order to be here today, for my own children have studied at home using the excellent courses offered by Our Lady of Victory home-school. They have received, and are receiving, a superior education. So again, congratulations on your hard work.
With your graduation you have reached a milestone in your lives, and a new chapter is about to begin. When I think back to the time of my own High School graduation, I remember that I wanted my life to have meaning, and I remember feeling a vague sense of apprehension about the future. There are so many paths a man or woman may take, there are precious few certainties in life, and you already know there will be many trials.
This moment in your life is a milestone, a marker on your way. It is an achievement, but more than that it is a foundation from which you will progress. Your journey on this pilgrimage has only recently begun, and there are greater heights that you must and will reach as your life continues. To become a good Catholic is the most difficult thing any person can do.
My primary occupation is as a Detective Sergeant, and I have been a police officer for most of my life. I have often been asked how it is that I can keep the faith while so immersed in a world of sin and crime. I suppose that the truth of the matter is that I know that what I am dealing with day after day is a natural consequence of man trying to live in a Godless society. There is a great deal of ugliness, despair, anger, and to be honest, a world full of lost souls looking for redemption.
Although you may not know it, all of you here have a huge advantage over most of the people who make up the rest of the world. You already possess what many millions are desperately seeking, and many, even most, will probably never find for themselves: the simple peace that comes with knowledge of, and adherence to, the Truth, and as a consequence, real joy in their hearts. You should recognize this, and thank God every day for the grace. It is a tremendous gift.
Let me give you an example. For those of you who go on to college, you will have many opportunities to listen to lectures given by well educated professors. Many will be true intellectuals, considering themselves to be enlightened individuals living in an enlightened age. By worldly standards, they will certainly be well educated, and many are grappling with serious questions that perplex their minds. You may hear some of them as they ask aloud, “What is the meaning of life?” or, “Why are we here?” I warn you now so you will not be surprised to hear it later.
You, of course, have learned long ago that we are here to know, love and serve God, to then be happy with Him forever in heaven - and the fact that you have learned this so very long ago doesn't make it any less true.
If you feel compassion for your poor professor, and attempt to relieve his mind by telling him this simple truth, be prepared to see that they will not accept it. It flies in the face of everything these intellectuals have been taught. And when you think about it a moment, how could they not be confused, for they have been brought up in these Dark Ages, when mankind seems to be doing everything in his power to suppress the light of Christ. So much pain and confusion in this world simply does not have to be, except for the fact that the remedy is no longer wanted. The world wonders why most of the youth today are so lost, while failing to see that they themselves are the very cause. In public schools our children have been carefully taught that their ancestors evolved from pond scum to fish with strange appendages to apes and then to man. They have no souls. There is no after life, no reward for the just, or punishment for those who do evil. They are taught that there is essentially nothing different between them and baser animals! It is truly a wonder that things are not worse!
So rejoice and be glad! You have the Truth, and an understanding that helps everything around you make sense. There really are simple answers to life’s big questions for those who are willing to accept the Truth.
Let me give you another example - the age old question of human suffering. You are still young, but you have been taught about original sin. You know that suffering has redemptive value, and that it is in suffering that we most closely imitate Our Lord Jesus Christ. While the rest of the world seeks worldly pleasures and does its best to avoid suffering, you already know that worldly pleasures are empty and vain pursuits, while suffering is the lot of man. Suffering is not something to be feared or avoided, for it can actually be embraced with thankfulness. It is impossible to reach heaven without the Cross. Was it not also the royal path taken by Our Lord Himself?
Your parents have given you so much with your education, and passing on to you the faith. However, there is a responsibility placed upon you by God Himself because of this blessing. It is written: “And unto whomsoever much is given, of him much shall be required: and to whom they have committed much, of him they will demand the more.” Or, more simply put, “to whom much is given, much is expected.”
I want to take a few moments to tell you a couple stories about a pair of men that I work with. If you’ll bear with me, I think it will all make sense when I’m finished.
One of these two people I’m going to tell you about is a detective. I’ll call him Jimmy. Keep in mind that Jimmy is not a Catholic, and in fact he doesn’t go to any church.
About a year ago Jimmy was heading home from work alone. It was toward the end of winter, so it was still somewhat cold out. Jimmy was almost home, driving through a residential neighborhood when he came upon a figure lying in the street. Jimmy stopped his truck and got out to see what was going on, and found that the man lying in the street was in fact a criminal he was familiar with, although he had never actually met the man. Now Jimmy found this man personally repulsive, as I’m sure you also would if you knew his crimes. Jimmy could smell alcohol on his breath as he helped the man to his feet and escorted him to the side of the road. After a few minutes he realized the man was basically uninjured, but had drunk himself into a stupor. He also realized the man was not dressed for the cold. Please keep in mind that this is a true story. Jimmy took off his own coat, which he had recently purchased for himself, and put it on this man. After Jimmy was sure the man could make it the short distance home, he let this man walk away wearing his new coat.
I’m sure we’re all familiar with the story of St. Martin of Tours, who was a Roman soldier. He gave half his cloak to a beggar for the love of God, and Our Lord appeared to him in a vision to show him how pleased he was with this sacrifice. Jimmy went home without a coat, and started wearing an old jacket to work the next day.
On another occasion I was with Jimmy when we went to a residence where there were three young boys living. The father was a soldier, and they obviously didn’t have much money, because the home had very little furniture. Unfortunately they had enough money to buy a TV, as the children were sitting together on the floor watching television. I don’t remember anymore why we were there, but it doesn’t really matter.
After we left the residence, Jimmy went to our captain to ask if he could give this family his new couch. Understand that Jimmy was still making payments on this couch, and I’m pretty sure his wife would not have been real happy with him giving it away, especially to a family they didn’t even know. The captain told Jimmy “no,” so it didn’t happen, but imagine the charity of this man who is not even Catholic!
I’ll tell you all, it was humbling to see, and it made me wonder. When the two of us were together, could anyone tell which of us was Catholic? And if someone who’s not even Catholic can perform such charitable acts, what does God expect of us who are Catholics? It is certain that the judgment of God begins in the house of God. Seriously, what does God really expect of us? It’s almost frightening to consider.
The other man I want to tell you about goes by the name of “Sgt. G”, because his last name is hard to pronounce, but it also suits my purposes to protect his identity.
As a Detective, at times I have worked with Investigators who are soldiers. I had the privilege of working with Sgt. G for about a year. He’s since gone overseas, fighting in the war against militant Islam. Like me, he always dressed in civilian attire, so I never saw him in uniform until the day he shipped out. That’s when I saw all his badges, and discovered that this humble young man was Air Assault qualified, Airborne, and had earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge. I also know he had completed Special Forces training, as I had seen pictures on his desk of his friends in Iraq wearing their green berets.
Well, Sgt. G was also not a Catholic, and he didn’t go to any church. What he did do, however, was tell his men that they had to live lives of integrity, and he would tell them the importance of living with honor. I heard him telling his privates that honor was more important than the air they breathed. He meant what he said, and he lived it.
One of his privates once told him that honor could not possibly be more important than breathing, for if you quit breathing you would die. Sgt. G. didn’t hesitate, telling the man in all sincerity that he was going to die someday anyway, and that it would be better for him that he should die immediately, without the stain of dishonor upon his soul.
Imagine that! A man who so values an ideal that he would rather die than violate it. If he would do this for the sake of honor, could we do any less for the source of all Good? Could we do any less for God?
Let me tell you some other rules this man lives by. I suppose you might call them part of his warrior code. I copied these personal rules from a list Sgt. G kept on his desk.
“I promise to do my best at all times. My best may vary from day to day, from hour to hour, from minute to minute. But at that moment I will do my very best.”
“Anything that opposes me is actually helping me become stronger. If I had no opposition then I would become weak.”
“If I can run...I’ll run. If I can’t run, I’ll walk, when I’m forced to crawl, I’ll crawl...then rest to fight another day.”
“I will never cheat. There is no honor in cheating. What joy is there in a victory that I did not earn?”
“I will give everything I have and then I will find more within myself.”
“I will not complain. Complaining is for crybabies. There are 11,232 babies born in the United States every day, so I’ll leave the crying to them and soldier on.”
There’s one other incident regarding Sgt. G that I want to tell you about. As you probably know, a soldier’s physical fitness is frequently evaluated by the command staff. One day Sgt. G was counting the number of pushups a soldier was completing as part of his physical fitness test. As the soldier was wearing a T-shirt and shorts, Sgt. G didn't know the man was superior to him in rank, and that he expected to be given some “extra credit,” and thought that Sgt. G would count the sloppy pushups he was doing when he got tired.
When this man finished his test, he was surprised to find he had not passed, and expressed his anger at Sgt. G. What did Sgt. G do? He asked him in all sincerity, “Why are you upset at me? You let yourself down.”
Sgt. G simply didn’t understand this man’s misdirected rage. For a man who lives a life of honor, it didn’t make any sense to him.
And so I ask you: If this sergeant can have such an understanding of honor, for love of his country, why can we not do such things for love of God? What possible excuse can we have, we who are Catholics? If these two men can do so much with only natural virtue, what are we capable of when these virtues are assisted by divine grace? Believe me, there is no limit to what we can achieve. Remember that your goal is not in front of you on a worldly level - you must aim higher.
Before going any further, I’d like to ask you to keep both of these men in your prayers. Sgt. G is daily risking his life for us in Afghanistan, and whatever your opinion of this war, he is enduring incredible hardships for our safety. You will be pleased to know the first detective, Jimmy, is currently saying the rosary, and wears it around his neck every day. My daughter made a rosary for Sgt. G that he carries with him everywhere. May God bless both these fine men and bring them to the True Faith.
Many Catholics remark how difficult it is to grow up Catholic in this day and age. I don’t understand this, especially when you compare this time to previous ages. No one is holding a sword to your throat, demanding that you renounce your faith. Sure, we may have to drive a long way to go to Mass and obtain the sacraments, but we aren’t exactly going into the catacombs due to persecution, at least, not yet.
I’ve spent some time telling you about two of my friends, and now I’d like to tell you a bit about two of my personal heroes. I don’t know how many of you have read my books, “El Cid, God’s Own Champion,” and “St. Fernando III, A Kingdom for Christ,” but certainly, these two men are great heroes, and they have much to say to us.
Perhaps we could begin by comparing our times to the times in which these two Catholic heroes lived. Back then, people didn’t have anything like the comforts we enjoy today, and their lives were far more difficult in a way we can’t even understand. People worked very hard for anything they might have had, and even that little bit might be taken away from them at any moment by sickness, or an invasion. When Muslim raiding parties swept over the land, infants and the elderly were murdered, while the able-bodied might be taken as slaves, to never know freedom again. A Catholic living among Muslims was forced to pay a heavy tax, and could be killed simply because he didn’t lower his gaze when a Muslim passed by. In our time we can little imagine the difficulties daily endured by our Catholic forefathers, but it was certainly a time of unspeakable oppression. Our lives are nowhere near that difficult.
Now the Cid, whose real name was Rodrigo Diaz, was a Catholic knight who lived in Castile, in what is now known as Spain, about 1,000 years ago. He was born into a Castilian family of lesser nobility at a time when most of Spain was dominated by Muslims, whom the Spanish called “Moors”. Catholics lived in small kingdoms in the poorer lands to the north, while the Muslims enjoyed the wealth of the rich lands in the south that they called Andalusia. Between the two there was a no-man’s land that was sparsely populated. This bleak tract of land was usually only crossed by shepherds and their flocks, outlaws, and raiding parties.
The Muslims had powerful armies, and would make raids against the weaker Catholic kingdoms to ravage the land and take slaves. Almanzor, one of their great conquerors, made well over 50 such raids during his lifetime alone, and he defeated any army the Catholic kingdoms would bring against him. This warfare and suffering had gone on like this for hundreds of years by the time Rodrigo was born.
As a young man, Rodrigo took his vocation very seriously, and trained for long hours to master the use of his weapons. Once he became a knight he proved to be absolutely invincible in combat, defeating many other champions in duels to the death. Understand me here – this man had no equal in combat. During the whole of his life he was never defeated under any circumstances, in any situation, by any man, or any group of men, and let me tell you, he faced many incredible trials. His personal code of honor was such that his enemies bestowed upon him the honorary title of “El Cid,” meaning “the lord,” recognizing both his martial abilities and his honor in dealing with them.
King Sancho of Castile was well aware of Rodrigo’s extraordinary abilities, and rewarded him by making him his champion, as well as the general of all his forces. At this point in his life things seemed to be going well for Rodrigo, which as a Catholic, should have been a sure sign that big trouble was right around the corner.
Sure enough, King Sancho was treacherously murdered by an assassin. His younger brother, Alfonso, became king. As often happens in life, the Cid’s personal excellence had incited envy in others, and there were powerful men who hated and calumniated him.
The new king unjustly seized all of Rodrigo’s property, banished him from the kingdom, and left him with only 9 days to leave Castile. He had done no wrong, yet he was now an outcast. Anyone who dared to help him in any way would have his own property confiscated, and his eyes gouged out as well. Rodrigo placed his family in a convent where they took sanctuary from the wrath of the king. They included his beautiful wife, Jimena, as well as a son and two daughters, all of whom he dearly loved. Entering the no-man’s land with nothing but a small group of faithful companions, there were very few people in Castile who ever expected to see him again.
Now the Cid could have hated King Alfonso for what he did to him, or he could have despaired, but it is interesting to see what happened instead. When leaving Castile, Rodrigo stopped and turned his mount back to look a last time upon the cathedral of Santa Maria. Making the sign of the Cross, he prayed: “I leave Castile, for I have vexed the King. Whether I shall ever return to it, I know not. Help me, O glorious Virgin, in my exile and I will load thine altars with rich gifts and cause a thousand masses to be sung in thy praise.”
Once he had crossed into Muslim lands, the Moors rushed upon Rodrigo to destroy him, but found that they could not do so. The Cid was always victorious in the many battles he fought, even though he was almost always vastly outnumbered, and it didn’t matter whether he fought alone or while leading his knights. He was a brilliant tactician, and his martial abilities unparalleled, but he was an even better example of how a Catholic should bear himself under trial.
A lesser man than the Cid might have given up the faith. He might let his cross make him bitter. In a few years, when the Cid became one of the most powerful men on Earth, he could have turned on his king to destroy him.
There are a lot of things the Cid could have done, but what he actually did was bear his cross manfully and repeatedly go to the aid of his King, spending his tremendous energies and his life fighting against the Moors whether his actions were appreciated or not. In fulfilling his duty for the love of God, the Cid conquered many enemies, and is justly immortalized as one of history’s greatest heroes.
I believe that the cross was a sign of special honor that God bestowed upon the Cid, and a visible sign of Christ’s favor. It is interesting to note that this incredible adversity is what actually revealed the true merit of the Cid, and in fact is what made of him the glory of Spain. God gave him a strong conflict that he might conquer. Oppression and suffering revealed the character of the man to all the world in all his heroic splendor.
Almost exactly 100 years after the Cid’s death another man would be born who would become an incredible general, a man who would have a similar dignity and strength of character, who would leave us another first-class example of how a man should live his life and carry his crosses. He happens to be a descendant of the Cid’s. The kingdom of Castile that had rejected the Cid all throughout his life became the heritage of his descendent. Known as both a king and a saint, St. Fernando III, this son of the Cid, worked to build a kingdom for Christ on this earth, and he accomplished the task. In the 13th century Castile became a place where the social kingship of Christ became a reality.
St Fernando is the other hero I would like you to consider. King of Castile and Leon, he lived during the first half of the 13th century. He was a descendant of the Cid’s, and so not surprisingly was also a great warrior who during his lifetime took back more territory from Islam than any other king in history. St Fernando died in 1252, but after nearly 800 years his incorrupt body can still be seen in the Cathedral of Seville. His feast day is May 30th, but I’d wager most people here have never heard of this great, great saint. Most of you, however, have probably heard of his first cousin, St. Louis IX of France.
As a young man Fernando was a well respected monarch, married to a beautiful Catholic princess. After years of arduous labors, he had set his kingdom in order and begun having a family. He could have had a life of ease, but instead, he asked himself what God expected of him. Inspired by God to lead his people in the struggle against Islam, let us consider the inspired words he spoke to his mother:
“Most beloved mother and most sweet lady, of what benefit to me is the kingdom of Castile, which, though due to you by right, your generosity abdicated and granted to me? Of what benefit to me is the most noble consort brought from distant lands through your solicitude and labor and joined to me in marriage with indescribable honor? Of what benefit to me is it that you anticipate my desires with maternal sweetness, and before I have fully conceived them, you bring them to most brilliant effect? If I am dulled by laziness, if the flower of my youth is fading away without fruit, if the light of royal glory, which already had begun to shine like certain rays, is being extinguished and annihilated? Behold, the time is revealed by almighty God, in which, unless I want to pretend otherwise like a weak and deficient man, I am able to serve the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom kings reign, against the enemies of the Christian faith, to the honor and glory of His name. The door is open indeed and the way is clear. Christ, God and Man, is on our side; on that of the Moors, the infidel and damned apostate Muhammad. What more is there to say?”
As I have said, Fernando could have chosen a life of ease, but is that really what would have been most pleasing to God? He knew God would not have given him his talents if he didn’t intend for him to use them, so St. Fernando continued the great war of the reconquest against the Moors to regain their homeland. St. Fernando was especially devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and when he led his men into battle, he had a small statue of the Blessed Virgin fastened to his saddle bow. The Mother of God protected him, for he was never once wounded in any of his many battles.
Later in St. Fernando’s career, a group of his enthusiastic young knights attacked the Muslim held city of Cordoba without his knowledge. When King Fernando found out what they had done, he personally went at once to assist them. An excellent tactician, he realized that a particular castle had to be quickly reduced. St. Fernando decided that his best course of action was to make a surprise attack against it with a small force. He called his knights together to explain his plan, for he wanted only his most valiant knights to go with him, volunteers willing to face death, for the venture was extremely dangerous. Even if the knights succeeded in taking the castle, they might then have to defend it against all the Moors in Andalusia.
Imagine the scene as St. Fernando entered the room to make his selections. His faithful knights erupted with loud cheering as their king appeared before them. This is how he addressed them: “My friends and loyal vassals, who among you has a burning desire to do great things for Our Lord Jesus Christ?” The knights all shouted so loudly that not a single voice could be heard as each struggled to draw attention to himself. These valiant knights were eager to offer their lives to serve Christ and their king. Imagine that spirit of self-sacrifice. Do you think any of these men would be afraid to make the sign of the cross in public?
King Fernando was able to inspire his men to undertake great labors for love of God. Diego Perez was one such knight, and he was involved in an incident where the stronghold known as the Rock of Martos was suddenly and unexpectedly besieged by a Muslim army while the knights who should have defended it were away on a mission. When they returned to the castle, the knights found it surrounded by an army of Moors. Defended by the countess’ and her few servants, they knew the castle could not stand against an assault by such a large army. Don Tello, who was the leader of the knights, was unsure of what to do with so few men, and so turned to his knights for advice. Diego Perez had definite thoughts about how they should proceed. Let us listen to his words:
“Gentlemen, why do you hesitate? Let us attack in a body and smash through their center. We must break through their lines and save the Rock of Martos and the countess, and pray to God that we succeed. Certainly, if we try, some of us should get through to climb the rock and reach the castle. Those who don’t make it will die here and save their souls. They will have fulfilled their obligation to God, and will go to the glory of Paradise. There is no way a man can lose!”
“For my part, I tell you that I would rather die here now, at the hands of these Moors, than have the countess taken captive and lose the Rock of Martos. I could never stand before King Don Fernando, or before Count Alvar Perez, with this shame. I want to engage the Moors in battle and accomplish everything in my power until I die. We cannot be excused from death now or ever; why should we be so frightened of it? Life in this world is so worthless: the fear of death should not stop us from such a noble act. I am ready if you are, and if not, alone I am ready to fulfill my obligation until death!”
Inspired by his words, the knights placed their trust in God and attacked. Some of the knights did die, but many were able to break through to reach the castle. When the Moors observed how the Christian knights were so eager to fight that they would give their lives just trying to gain the castle, they lifted the siege rather than stay and fight them.
Finally, let us consider what Fernando encountered when he arrived at Seville, determined to take the city for Christ, and compare what he faced to our own trials.
At this time the city of Seville was the most prosperous city in all of Western Europe. Approximately twice the size of Spokane or Boise, her inhabitants were courageous and warlike, ready and willing to defend themselves against invasion to the last extremity. Seville was completely surrounded by a strong wall. Behind this outer wall there was a deep pit that separated the first wall from a second wall that was just as tall and solid as the first.
The land was so rich that the inhabitants of Seville could produce all the food they needed to feed themselves indefinitely, and there were enough wells throughout the city to slake the thirst of the entire populace throughout the duration of any siege.
The main entrance to Seville was by way of a unique bridge that crossed the river Guadalquivir. Facing the city, and protecting that bridge, was the citadel of Triana, which was surrounded by a moat and thus formed a well defended and nearly inaccessible island. This island was connected to Seville by a floating pontoon bridge, whose sections were linked together by a heavy chain that was attached to great towers at either end so that the bridge could be moved or withdrawn at will. Situated on a nearby peak, and commanding the entire region, the fortification of Aznalfarache safeguarded access to the bridge. As if all of this was not enough, there was an entire army dedicated to the defense of this important castle.
When King Fernando disembarked at Seville, he found his entire army of only 3,000 men waiting for him. With this small group of Catholic knights and noblemen, and his little fleet of untried ships, Fernando proposed to overcome the strength of the city of Seville with it’s over 400,000 inhabitants.
Upon seeing what he was up against, what did St. Fernando do? Did he despair? Did he think the task impossible? No, not at all.
“That night, alone in his tent before going to sleep, he prostrated himself humbly on the ground and kissed it, thanking Christ for bringing him to such a point, and offering Him with brave joy all the toil necessary, and even death, to win Seville for Him.”
The story of what happened at Seville is an incredible tale, but suffice it to say that King St. Fernando was victorious, although at great personal cost. That should come as no surprise, as nothing great can ever be accomplished if it is not blessed with the Cross.
Why were these men so successful, even when their own people turned against them? I believe it was because they were both sincerely devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mediatrix of all graces, and because they both understood the immense value of suffering.
No matter how anyone treats you, whether it’s your sovereign or a hostile invader, they can’t take away your faith, and you can still do your duty in whatever circumstances you find yourself in. You can still save your soul. You can still assist others in sanctifying themselves. And if indeed you do find yourselves in this kind of circumstances someday, then it is God’s will for you to sanctify yourself in those circumstances.
You will have many conflicts in your life, and it will be your choice as to how you handle them. If you look at them as a punishment, the crosses will be heavy indeed to carry. If you see them as a blessing, you will find peace in your adversity and it will not be nearly so difficult.
Know that the cross is a normal part of life! The cross was originally a symbol of humiliation, of a painful death. When Our Lord died upon the cross, it became the symbol of triumph and salvation. There are countless martyrs who were crucified with joy, for they saw it as the reward for their labors, proof that they were acceptable to Christ.
So, how is one to remain Catholic in this day and age? How is it done in any age? Stay close to Mary. And although these times may seem dark and especially challenging, remember that God will never let go of you, so don’t let go of Him! Remember the words of St. Alphonsus Ligouri. “Nothing but self-will can separate us from God.”
The Cid and St. Fernando were both remarkable men, but we must remember that God also made each of us to do great things. It may be that we will never lead men into battle, but we are still called to greatness anyway. The enemies these heroes fought are the same that we fight today - the world, the flesh, and the devil. The real battle lies in conquering ourselves, and seeking to do God’s will in all things, no matter to what vocation we are called.
I’ve told you about my friends, and about two of my heroes. They are great examples of what a man can accomplish when his natural virtues are assisted by divine grace.
It would only be expected at this point in your life if you were asking yourself what the future holds in store for you. If you are asking, “Will my life make any lasting impression?” A better question might be, “What impact will you make?” for you certainly will make one.
Saint John Neumann said, “Everyone who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission, has a work. We are not sent into this world for nothing.”
God Himself has placed you here, now, at this time, for a reason. We have seen above, and it can be demonstrated over and over throughout history, that one person can change the world. The fact is every one of you will change the world. One solitary soul that raises itself to God not only sanctifies itself, but also draws down innumerable blessings upon the entire world. Every little child who makes the smallest sacrifice, even if only in doing his duty for the love of God, assists in the sanctification of those around him, and draws down grace from God upon all of mankind, now and in the future. What a Catholic can do with his life is therefore so significant that no one, other than God, can possibly understand the full import. In fact, it is far beyond our ability to fathom the enduring consequences of even one single human act of charity.
St. Therese, the Little Flower, said that what Our Lord desires are people willing to do His Will energetically. He will provide the graces, and He will not leave you unassisted. He only asks that we love, and we dare. So I ask you, as St. Fernando asked his brave knights that evening so long ago in the city of Cordoba. “Who among you is willing to do great things for Our Lord Jesus Christ?”
God Bless you all. God Bless you in all your endeavors.
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