I was reading my Navarre Bible the other night and I came across this quote in the commentary:
“Discouragement is the enemy of your perseverance. If you don’t fight against your discouragement, you will become pessimistic first and lukewarm afterwards. Be an optimist.” – St. Josémaria Escriva
I believe that God wanted me to discover this quote because it couldn’t have come at a better time when I most needed to hear it. With mounting expenses and not bringing in any money I was really worried that we will not make it past this year.
Since starting this apostolate (Catholic Chapter House) I have encountered many challenges both financially and spiritually.
Spiritually I have been challenged to the max about placing all my trust in God – whether I would be able to provide for my wife and newborn daughter. Always, by His Grace, we just manage to find what we need to get through to the next month.
The trap I almost fell in recently was discouragement. Many people and organizations (both inside and outside of the Church) that I thought would be friendly to our mission of spreading the Gospel and instilling authentic Catholic Teaching were in fact hostile and/or wanted to put their own agenda into what we are doing. This was an eye opener for me and I found myself becoming discouraged and pessimistic where I never was before.
St. Josémaria was right, if you get discouraged you become a pessimist. This pessimism is destructive since it removes hope and enslaves you. In this state of pessimism you then become lukewarm and being lukewarm is the worse state of being you can be in. Christ said “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold, nor hot. I would rather you were cold, or hot. But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth.” – Revelations 3:16
With prayer and discernment I have come to know that what I am doing is the work of God and doing the work of God is not easy – meeting resistance is a good sign of that. These negative experiences I have encountered only serve as fuel in motivating me and to persevere even when things get tough and the future seems uncertain.
In Christ anything is possible, if it is His Will. God always places people and situations that you need at the right time. All you need to do is trust in Him and be an optimist!
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