"Everything For Sale" as Satan is Going Out Of Business

There is a legend that tells about the time the devil decided to close up shop in one part of the world and open up in another. A “going-out-of-business” sale was announced. Various evil instruments were displayed. Of all the devil’s tools, one called “discouragement” was priced highest. One customer was fascinated with that price tag and inquired, “Why is this one so expensive?” “Quite simple,” replied the devil.  “It’s my favorite. With the tool of discouragement, I can pry into almost everyone’s life and cause all kinds of damage.”

SaintsSomeone said, “There has always been discouragement, negativism, and temptation in the world because of Lucifer.” Yes, devil always creates havocs. In my view, discouragement causes today’s youth into some sort of negativity to life and world. In today’s liturgical readings, God calls weak and sinful men like Isaiah, Paul, Peter, and us, to his ministry and fills us with his Spirit to free us from all feelings of discouragement when they attack. All we have to do is to ask for and receive his help.

Billy Graham, a famous evangelical preacher said, “The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, 'O God, forgive me,' or 'Help me. A few decades back, in many Indian families to go on to higher education was a big no-no. I know my parents' discouragement was for our own family. It was because they did not understand the value of education at that time; but that discouragement did not stop me.

St. Teresa of Child Jesus heard God’s call and joined the Carmelite convent when she was only 15. Mother Teresa heard God’s call and joined the Loretta Sisters when she was 18. St. Jeanne Jugan was 47 when she heard God calling her to devote her life to the care of the sick and the elderly. St. Ignatius of Loyola heard God’s call as a wounded and recovering soldier in his late thirties. St. Francis Xavier was a young, famous university professor when he heard God’s call through St. Ignatius and became a great missionary saint. All these saints acknowledged their sinfulness and limitations, and God blessed their good will with his grace and enabled them to transform the lives of many for God.

A man had spent fruitless day fishing. He didn't want to go home empty-handed. He decided to stop at a local fish market. "I'd like three good sized fish," he said to the clerk. "But before you wrap them, toss them to me, one by one." The clerk looked puzzled at his request, "Sir? That's a strange thing to ask." Smiling the man said, "This way I'll be able to tell my wife truthfully that I caught them!"

Don’t be discouraged, find innovative ways to overcome it. Saints are the models to better our lives from discouragement.

In the Service of the Lord,
   Father Thainese Alphonse



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St. Bernadette Catholic Church