Though you may lose your way, do not lose hope. Christ is the light. And if you find yourself blinded by the darkness of sin, take comfort that God Himself will seek you out. If you cannot see Him, then listen. The voice of the Spirit echoes. He will call out for you even before you call out for Him. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God…You may find yourself in a great trial, and your confidence in God may be shaken. Keep in your heart that often, God allows these trials in our lives to remind us to be dependent on Him, and Him alone. It is purification. It is our purgatory on earth.
Spiritual progress is often poisoned by the Devil with the worldly feeling of self-reliance. It’s an easy trap to fall into. But even in this great tragedy, Christ brings forth grace. If we humbly accept our weaknesses, then He becomes, as St. Paul writes, our strength. If you ever doubt your worth, if your past sins have weakened your trust in God’s mercy, simply look at the Cross. If God loved us that much, how can we not love ourselves? We are His children. We belong to Him alone. And our thorns? Why should you fear them? Why should it disconcert you? Why should you be discouraged?
Those thorns which pain you – give them to Christ for He wears it as His triumphant Crown. Still, if nothing seems to work, if the sight of the Cross frightens you, wearies you, worries you; if your thorns seem to be too much, then seek the bright light of Mary’s unstained mantle. Bring to the Immaculate the thorn – it is something which belongs to her. She will make it presentable to our Lord. Our mother truly is the bright moon in the darkest of nights, a constant reminder of the Sun’s promise of the day as she reflects His light.
And pray. Pray relentlessly. Pray even if you feel nothing. For God is the one who, for his good purpose, works in you both to desire and to work. And work – serve others. The more you give of yourself to others, the more of yourself returns. It is the great mystery of our faith. It is the great joy of love. Charity is what heals the wounds brought about our disgrace. A cheerful service is the enemy’s worst nightmare. If you are full of joy and peace in suffering, then suffering will bring you the fullness of joy and peace. Do not lose hope. Instead, lose yourself in Hope.