Sixth Sunday after
Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk
16th July 2017
Zeal for the Salvation of Souls
Rev. Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen O.C.D.
One who has penetrated the mystery of God's love for men
cannot remain indifferent to their fate: by the light of
faith, he has understood that all that God does in the world
is for man's good and for his eternal happiness. He longs to
have some share in this action, knowing that he can do
nothing which will be more pleasing to God than to lend his
humble collaboration for the salvation of those who are so
dear to Him. This was always the ardent desire of the
Saints, a desire which impelled them to perform heroic acts
of generosity to benefit even one soul. St. Teresa of Jesus
"This is an inclination given me by Our Lord; and I think He
prizes one soul which, by His mercy and through our
diligence and prayer, we may have gained for Him, more than
all the other services we can render Him".
It is true that the primary end of God's action is His own
glory, but He who is infinitely good wills to obtain this
glory especially through the salvation and the happiness of
His creatures. In fact, nothing exalts His goodness, love,
and mercy more than the work of saving souls. Therefore, to
love God and His glory means to love souls; it means to work
and sacrifice oneself for their salvation.
Zeal for souls finds its source in charity and in the
contemplation of Christ crucified.
His wounds, His Blood, the excruciating sufferings of His
Agony all tell us how much God values souls and how dearly
He loves them. But this love is unrequited, and it seems
that ungrateful men strive more and more to elude His
action. It is this sad spectacle of all the ages which is
renewed even today, as though men wished to insult Jesus and
renew His Passion.
"The world is on fire. Men try to condemn Christ once again,
as it were, for they bring a thousand false witnesses
against Him. They would raze His Church to the ground."
If Teresa of Jesus could speak these words in her century
which was troubled by the Protestant heresy, how much more
can we say it in ours, when the struggle against God and the
Church has increased immeasurably, and has now spread over
the entire world. Happy shall we be if we can say with the
breaks my heart to see so many souls travelling to
perdition. I would the evil were not so great I felt that I
would have laid down a thousand lives to save a single one
of all the souls that were being lost".
But it is not a question of merely formulating desires; we
must work, act, and suffer for the salvation of our fellow
men. St. John Chrysostom affirms:
"Nothing is colder than a Christian who does not care about
the salvation of others".
This coldness comes from a very languid charity. Let us
kindle and revive our charity, and it will inflame us with
zeal for the salvation of souls.