ACCRM’s 40 Days With Christ For Lent: Day Thirty-Four

Helps and Hindrance to Holiness

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


1. MY CHILD, there is one thing that stops many from making spiritual progress and keeps them from improving themselves. It is a fear of the difficulties or of the work required by their effort. The people who rise highest in holiness are those who are brave enough to fight against whatever holds them back from Me, no matter how hard or disagreeable the effort may be. The more you try to master your feelings and blind desires, the greater are the graces which I offer to you. If you keep on trying, you will gain as much success as I desire of you.

2. Different men have to face different obstacles. Yet, a diligent and zealous person will make greater progress in virtue, even though he may have to fight more defects than others. Some people have fewer defects to overcome, and still they do not advance in holiness because they are less fervent in the pursuit of virtues.
Many are frightened by the thought of changing their ways in daily life. Yet the way can be quite simplified if only they will make the effort. First, they need a spiritual director to guide them along and to help them see themselves without prejudice or fear. Second, they must be honest in striving for the virtues opposed to their main faults. Third, they must realize that their feelings and blind desires will go on rebelling and making their daily efforts more difficult. Lastly, they must learn to gain spiritual profit from all occasions, imitating the virtues which they see in others and avoiding the defects of their neighbors.

O Holy Spirit, my God and Sanctifier, grant me the light to see what a glorious opportunity I now have of beginning a better life. Help me to take whatever steps are necessary to purify my soul by a sincere daily effort. You will not deny me the strength which I need, if only I will try to develop the virtues which I need most, in my daily life. Amen.


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