Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday of the Thirty-second Week in Ordinary Time

(Wisdom 1:1-7; Luke 17:1-6)

The revelation that Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta experienced darkness, dryness, and depression on her way to sanctity shocked the world. Yet despite her trials every morning before the sun came up, she prayed an hour before the Blessed Sacrament. Her prayer probably echoed that of the Apostles in today’s gospel, “Increase our faith.”

The Apostles ask for more faith after Jesus challenges them to a new kind of holiness. Not only are they never to give scandal causing others to sin, but they are to be always ready to forgive the sins of others. They feel incapable of following these commands.

In truth, unaided they are! None of us can live the righteousness of Jesus solely by means of natural virtue. It is the grace of the Holy Spirit poured into our hearts that provides the decisive margin. The Spirit moves us to both inordinate zeal for personal perfection and compassionate understanding of others’ foibles.