“Dear children! Also today I am with you to tell you: Little children, [whoever] prays does not fear the future and does not lose hope. You are chosen to carry joy and peace, because you are mine. I have come here with the name ‘Queen of Peace’ because the devil wants peacelessness and war, he wants to fill your heart with fear of the future—but the future is God’s. That is why, be humble and pray, and surrender everything into the hands of the Most High Who created you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” -Our Lady of Medjugorje, in private revelation given to Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, on March 25, 2021
The proper way to judge a thing is by its purpose: And the purpose of man is to be happy not in his body alone, but in the highest reaches of his personality. But man has been so made that complete fulfillment can be attained only if he has Perfect Life without Death, Perfect Truth with no admixture of error, Ecstatic Love without satiety—in other words, the Supreme Happiness of God. It is God, then, Who provides the only scales and yardstick in the universe against which man may measure his own capacities and failings.
In the physical order, it is the sun that lights the darkness, and in the spiritual order, too, darkness prevails until we seek the only light that can fully illumine our life’s purpose and destiny, and that is Christ, the Light of the World. When we begin to use Christ as our measuring stick, we begin, for the first time, to see our lives as the inadequate things they are.
A picture in a poor light may seem perfect; a strong light will bring out its defects. Standing in our own shadow, we used to appear good to ourselves; but as we bring ourselves nearer to the Light of God, revealed in Christ, His Divine Son, we see how much we failed to be all that creatures ought to be, and thereby we discover the true secret of our unhappiness.
When our Lord said, “One of you is about to betray Me,” every one of the Apostles asked, “Is it I, Lord?” None of us is assured of his innocence before Divinity; but when the ego is its own judge, who is ever a failure? The Divine Standard is a Light to those willing to see their failings; it can also become the object of a great hate, when one is unwilling to change his ways. The Crucifixion was the inevitable consequence of the Sermon on the Mount. He who preaches purity of heart to a sensuous generation, and meekness to an age of power, will not be tolerated. Only the mediocre can survive.
True self-knowledge is always God-regarding, as Saint Augustine showed us in his prayer:
Lord Jesus, let me know myself, let me know Thee,
And desire nothing save only Thee.
Let me hate myself and love Thee,
And do all things for the sake of Thee.
Let me humble myself and exalt Thee,
And think of nothing but only Thee.
Let me die to myself and live in Thee,
And take whatever happens as coming from Thee.
Let me forsake myself and walk after Thee,
And ever desire to follow Thee.
Let me fly from myself and turn to Thee,
That so I may merit to be defended by Thee.
Let me fear for myself, let me fear Thee,
And be among those who are chosen by Thee.
Let me distrust myself and trust in Thee,
And ever obey for the love of Thee.
Let me cleave to nothing but Thee,
And ever be poor for the sake of Thee.
Look upon me that I may love Thee,
Call me that I may see Thee,
And forever possess Thee.
The Lord is not slow about His promise as some count slowness, but is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.2 Peter 3:9
You have shown mercy to Your servant beyond all hope, and have exhibited grace and friendship beyond his deserving. What return shall I make to You for this grace? For it is not given every man to forsake all things, to renounce the world, and undertake the religious life. Is it anything great that I should serve You Whom every creature is bound to serve? It should not seem much to me; instead it should appear great and wonderful that You condescend to receive into Your service one who is so poor and unworthy. Behold, all things are Yours, even those which I have and by which I serve You. Behold, heaven and earth which You created for the service of man, stand ready, and each day they do whatever You command. But even this is little, for You have appointed angels also to minister to man—yea more than all this—You Yourself have condescended to serve man and have promised to give him Yourself.
What return shall I make for all these thousands of benefits? Would that I could serve You all the days of my life! Would that for but one day I could serve You worthily! Truly You are worthy of all service, all honor, and everlasting praise. Truly You are my Lord, and I am Your poor servant, bound to serve You with all my powers, praising You without ever becoming weary. I wish to do this—this is my desire. Do You supply whatever is wanting in me.
It is a great honor, a great glory to serve You and to despise all things for Your sake. They who give themselves gladly to Your most holy service will possess great grace. They who cast aside all carnal delights for Your love will find the most sweet consolation of the Holy Ghost. They who enter upon the narrow way for Your Name and cast aside all worldly care will attain great freedom of mind.
O sweet and joyful service of God, which makes man truly free and holy! O sacred state of religious bondage which makes man equal to the angels, pleasing to God, terrible to the demons, and worthy of the commendation of all the faithful! O service to be embraced and always desired, in which the highest good is offered and joy is won which shall remain forever!