Daily Bread - Day 4

We are not always willing to accept the fact of our own nothingness, and the necessity of a daily dying unto self. Yet God, in requiring such self humiliation, would only have us to bring home to ourselves our true position. It is well for us to distrust ourselves. Alas! how often particular and great failings remind us of what we are, and what we should be, if left to ourselves. How easily, for instance, sloth gets the better of our resolutions and convictions. How soon after our morning's devotions we become indolent, waste time, do our work, whether for God or man, partially, negligently, and with an inward, or manifest, distaste for it. We often go to public and private prayer unwillingly, and move from it gladly, as if our hearts said, Behold our labour. When we have done little for God, and His Church, and Truth, we think much of it; as if we had made God our debtor, forgetting that we are unprofitable servants at the best. In fact, indolence and irresolution, and weariness, in what is good, beset most of us. Good Catholics had often rather read pious books, than work good works; they had rather sit and meditate at home on sacred things and Church news, than go out and about neighbourly duties. We seek and find out numerous excuses for easing our necks of the yoke of self-denial. But all true peace lies in a forgetfulness of self, which can only be found in a thorough, hearty, continuous surrender to God, His service, and known will. Once gain this, and neither earth nor hell will much prevail to trouble you, or disturb your rest in Him, and your perseverance in a godly life.

O, how slowly have I often
  Followed where Thy hand would draw!
How Thy kindness fail'd to soften!
  How Thy chastening fail'd to awe!
Make me for Thy rest more ready,
  As Thy path is longer trod.
Keep me in Thy friendship steady,
  Till Thou call me home, my God!

- text taken from Daily Bread - Bring a Few Morning Meditations for the Use of Catholic Christians by Father Richard Waldo Sibthorp