| The Master's Wish | Staying Loyal | The Blessed Virgin's Fidelity | Fruits of Faithfulness |

The Master's Wish

"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. And you shall bind them as a sign upon your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (Deut 6:4-9)

"My brothers, we are here not to be successful, but to be faithful." (Mother Teresa of Calcutta, to Priests in Rome)

"God awaits you. So wherever you are, you must commit yourself to imitating him and uniting yourself to him, cheerfully, lovingly, keenly, though circumstances might require you--even permanently-to go against the grain.
God awaits you--and needs you to be faithful." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, The Forge)

"I have no greater cause for thankfulness, than when I hear that my children are following the way of truth." (III Jn 1:4)

"Hear my people, and I will admonish you; O Israel, will you not hear me? There shall be no strange god among you nor shall you worship any alien god. I, the Lord, am your God who led you forth from the land of Egypt; open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
"But my people heard not my voice, and Israel obeyed me not; so I gave them up to the hardness of their hearts; they walked according to their own counsels. If only my people would hear me, and Israel walk my ways, quicly would I humble their enemies; against their foes I would turn my hand." (Ps 80:9-15)

"Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: 'I am the Lord your God who teacahes you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. O that you had hearkened to my commandments! Then your peace would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea; your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like its grains; their name would never be cut off or destroyed from before me." (Is 48:17-19)

"This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy." (I Cor 4:1-2)

"This is the written will of God for us." (Mother Teresa of Calcutta, on the Constitution of the Order she founded)

Staying Loyal

"Have you seen how water is stored in reservoirs against times of drought? In the same way, to achieve the even character that you need in times of dificulty, you have to store up cheerfulness, clear insights and the light which the Lord sends you." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, 788)

"It is a moving testimony of what we also call Christian youthfulness of spirit and it consists in always remaining faithful to the love of God. Union with God makes us grow each day in that youthfulness. On the other hand, the things that separate us from God--sin and its consequences--is the path to interior ageing, paralysis and slowness to know and live the constant novelty of love for God, which has been revealed to us in Christ." (John Paul II, to the youth, Argentina, 11 Apr 1987)

"You want to know on what our faithfulness is founded? I would say, in broad outline, that it is based on loving God, which makes us overcome all kinds of obstacles: selfishness, pride, tiredness, impatience ... A man in love tramples on his own self. He is aware that even when he is loving with all his soul, he isn't yet loving enough." (Bl Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, 532)

The Blessed Virgin's Fidelity

"Among the many titles that the filial love of Christians has attributed to the Blessed Virgin through the centuries, there is one with a most profound meaning: Virgo fidelis, Virgin most faithful. What does this fidelity of Mary signify? What are its dimensions?
   "The first dimension is called the search. Mary was faithful above all when she began to seek lovingly the deep meaning of God's design in Her and for the world. 'Quomodo fiet?--How shall this come about?' she asked the Angel of the Annunciation. Already in the Old Testament the meaning of this search is embodied in an expression of rare beauty and extraordinary spiritual content: 'seek the Lord's face'. There should be no fidelity were there to be absent in its source this burning, patient and generous search; were there to be lacking in man's heart a question for which only God has the answer--or better-for which God is the only answer.
   "The second dimension of fidelity is called welcome, acceptance. The 'quomodo fiet' becomes, on Mary's lips, a 'fiat'. Let it be done; I am ready; I accept. This is the crucial moment of fidelity, the moment in which man sees that he will never totally comprehend the 'how'; that in God's design there are more mysterious zones than evident ones; that however much he tries, he will never come to comprehend everything. It is then that man accepts the mystery and gives it a place in his heart, just as 'Mary conserved all these things, pondering them in her heart' (Lk 2:19; cf Lk 3:15). It is the moment in which man abandons himself to the mystery, not with the resignation of someone who surrenders to an enigma, an absurdity, but rather with the the availability of one who opens himself to be inhabited by something--by Someone!-- greater than his own heart. That acceptance is fulfilled definitively by faith, which is the whole being's adhesion to the mystery being revealed.
   "Coherence is the third dimension of fidelity. To live according to one's belief. To adjust one's life to the object of one's adhesion. To accept misunderstanding and persecution rather than to permit ruptures between one's life and one's belief. This is coherence. It is here, perhaps, where one finds the most intimate core of fidelity.
   "But all fidelity must pass through the most demanding test--that of duration. Hence, the fourth dimension of fidelity is constancy. It is easy to be coherent for one day or some days. It is both difficult and important to be coherent for one's whole life. It is easy to be coherent at the hour of praise, difficult to be so at the hour of trial. Only a coherence that lasts for one's whole life can be called fidelity. Mary's 'fiat' at the Annunciation finds its fullness in the silent 'fiat' that she repeats at the foot of the Cross. To be faithful is not betraying in darkness what one has accepted in the open." (John Paul II, Discourse in Mexico, 26 January 1979)

Fruits of Faithfulness

"Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast words of eternal life and we have believed and have known, that thou art the Christ, the Son of God." (Jn 6:70)

"Try to be very faithful, my children. When the years pass, you will not believe what you have lived. It will seem that you have been dreaming. How many good and great and wonderful things you are going to see! ... I can assure you that you will be faithful even though at times you will have to suffer. Besides, I promise you heaven. If you are faithful, that is enough, even though at times there is sorrow. If some time you hit a slump, take courage and don't worry. Rest, obey the doctor, eat, sleep, and don't make me suffer, because I love you a lot and I suffer, not for myself but for Jesus. Be faithful, my children." (Bl Josemaria Escriva)

"My children, from this conversation we're now holding, you'd have to draw the most firm resolution of being more faithful, more loyal by the day. Fall more in love each day, be more madly in love each day. Some people said I was crazy, and they were right. I still am, and I want to die this way. And you, my child, are you crazy?" (Bl Josemaria Escriva)