ACCRM’s 40 Days With Christ For Lent: Day Eleven

An Honest Daily Effort

[exerpts from “My Daily Bread” by Anthony J. Paone, S.J. [1954]


MY CHILD, so often your thoughts are on unimportant things. You do not center them enough on Me nor on your greatest need. After a few moments of recollection, your thoughts go right back to useless distractions. As a result you rarely get a good look at yourself and your actions.

1. You hardly know your real worth because you take so little notice of your desires, motives, and intentions. You fail to be impressed by your many faults because you are blind to what is going on within your heart. Your interior motives are often selfish and corrupt. Consequently, your external actions are very imperfect and unsatisfactory. From a pure heart come the fruits of a good life, but from an imperfect heart there can only come an imperfect life.

2. External activity proceeds from internal vigor. If you serve Me only by external observances, you are no true follower of Mine. You must apply the ax to the root of your troubles. Learn to control this selfish nature of yours, and you will possess My peace. I daily offer you My grace for this divine purpose. Do not keep looking at your weakness. Do not be afraid to make the attempt. Nothing is impossible to Me. Fix your eyes on Me and make a sincere effort to follow My Will. Your difficulties will gradually vanish.

3. Try as you will, you will always make a number of unavoidable mistakes. Still, with a little violence to yourself, you will gradually be able to serve Me with more ease. If you rooted out of your life one single fault each year, you would soon become a perfect man. Nowadays, however, people seem to be at their best at the beginning of their conversion. They consider it a great accomplishment if they do not become worse with time.

Many admit that they have faults. When, however, any particular fault of theirs is pointed out to them, they will immediately justify themselves. They simply refuse to come face to face with any particular fault of theirs. As a result they live a lifetime with little progress in virtue. To better my life I must see and admit what is wrong. Then I can proceed to improve myself.

My God, make me brave enough to face my faults, honest enough to acknowledge them, and strong enough to fight them. I think of many things each day, but so many of my interests are unimportant and useless. Give me the strength and the generosity to make definite resolutions against definite faults. May I never be so selfish as to stop trying to please You more each day. Though my faults seem to continue, still my efforts must remain firm and I must go on trying to become daily a better man. If I will go on trying, I cannot help becoming better each day. A continued effort will slowly destroy my selfishness, and my faults will gradually weaken and die. Lord, on You I depend for the light and strength for this daily battle. Amen.


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