Keep Trying, Don’t Quit!
Keep Trying, Don’t Quit!
In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood. You have also forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children: My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord or lose heart when reproved by him; for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines; he scourges every son he acknowledges. Endure your trials as "discipline"; God treats you as his sons. (Hebrew 12: 4-7)
When you watch your favorite athletes, specially any Olympic games, what do you notice? Are you impressed by the grace and skill those athletes bring to the game? Are you awed by their flawless technique? No doubt, you’re also taken with how much they seem to enjoy what they are doing. Because it looks so easy and fun, we should not assume that they are so good just because they were born with all those talents and skills. We know of many talented athletes who were failures through lack of discipline. For most athletes, to get to the top of their profession requires rigorous discipline. Discipline is the key ingredient to success in everything in life. “Practice makes perfect!” The lives the Saints were filled with examples of internal and external discipline. When St. Leonard of Port Maurice talked about discipline, he said, “I shall have nothing for my own particular use, except the crucifix I wear on my breast, my little hand-bag, the case with my sermons in, my writings, my Breviary, my Rule, my hair-shirt, my little cross with sharp points, my spectacles, my rosary, the two disciplines, the one I use at the community exercise and the one I use at my secret penances at night, a little holy picture of the Immaculate Conception, the framed picture of St. Vincent Ferrer, with which I bless the sick: this is all I shall keep for my own particular use.” If you are going through your hand bag/purse/pocket/wallet, what do you find? Are those things leading you closer to God? If you are closer to God, He will teach how to love others, including your enemies. “We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means… we are to become vessels of God´s compassionate love for others.” (St. Clare of Assisi) Do not let the word “discipline” intimidate you. For whom the Lord loves, he disciplines. We don’t have to go to the monastery in order to live a disciplinary life. The Catholic Tradition teaches us the following ways to engage in spiritual discipline: prayer, read the Bible, fasting, corporal and spiritual acts of mercy, Sacraments (e.g., Baptism, Eucharist and confession/reconciliation), monasticism, singing/chanting, celibacy, praying the rosary, adoration, mortification of the flesh, Christian meditation or contemplative prayer, following the path of Catholic social teachings (including almsgiving), and Lectio Divina. You can choose one recommendation which fit your state of life, do it faithful every day, and add little more, like building your spiritual muscles; and you will spiritually get stronger every day. In the eye of God, there are no “losers”. He only wants you to try and try harder! He is closer to you than you think, closer than the air that you are breathing right now. Scripture tells us to “persevere in running the race.” Let’s “Run so as to win” (1 Corinthians 9:24) and one day, Jesus himself will tell you: “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).
Lord Jesus Christ, I believe in You as my God and my Savior. Make me more faithful to Your Gospel and commandments. By sharing in the Eucharist, may I come to live more fully in the life You have given me. Keep Your Love alive within my heart and soul so that I may become worthy of You. Teach me to value and be thankful for all of Your Gifts. Help us to strive for eternal life. (
A Prayer for Perseverance-
Catholic Online Prayers)
Hail Mary full of grace…
Peace in Christ,
Father Vincent-Vuong Nguyen
Fr. Vincent Nguyen
on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:14AM