Fall_of_Babylon_Angers_TapestryYesterday, the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, and yet another gloriously beautiful Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory.  I often remind myself to appreciate the bounty of graces available to us here in St. Louis. It is all too easy to forget that it is not like this everywhere else.  Hey, who am I kidding?  It isn’t like this nearly anywhere else.  Praise God for His goodness!

The title of this post is taken from the First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, Chapter 10, verse 11.  It deals with the previously chosen people who decided to ignore the commands of God and do things as they wished.  Their fall was spectacular, as Our Lord predicted in tears in the Gospel.  Yet they are but a type.  These things are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

And everywhere we see the evil, rot, and perversion among Catholics and our shepherds.  “Wherefore, he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall.  Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human.  And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it.” (v. 12-13)

My confessor gave some very good advice in these times.  Perform your duties, check off the list one-by-one, and you will see the sadness of these days dissipate from your mind.  Rely on God’s strength, not your own.  Do the duty in front of you.

“As I have already confessed to You, O glory of my life, O Lord God, strength of my salvation, I have sometimes placed my hopes in my own virtue, which was no virtue; and when I attempted to run, thinking I was very strong, I fell very quickly and went backward instead of forward.  What I expected to reach, disappeared, and thus, O Lord, in various ways You have tested my powers.  With light from You, I now see that I could not accomplish by myself the things that I wanted to do most.  I said to myself: ‘I shall do this, I shall finish that,’ and I did not do either the one or the other.  The will was there but not the power, and if the power was there, my will was not; this because I had trusted in my own strength.  Sustain me then, O Lord, for alone I can do nothing.  However, when You are my stability, then it is true stability; but when I am my own stability, then it is weakness.”  (St. Augustine)

A blessed and productive week to you all.