By John C. Preiss
I want to encourage you to offer up your sacrifices daily and give them to Our Lord on the cross. We all encounter certain sacrifices daily whether it be mentally, physically or even spiritual. We must not get lost in our day as we maneuver through this valley of tears and the small incidents which we encounter, for example, things like: dirty dishes, dirty diapers, laundry and working with different personalities. It also could be that faltering business or the religious sister in your community that you may not get along with. All these things can be offered up. As Christians we must not waste this opportunity to conform our will to His Will.
Sister Lucia says that the Message Of Fatima, calls on us to “make of everything you can a sacrifice and offer it to God as an act of reparation for the sins by which He is offended and in supplication for the conversion of sinners’. (Words of the Angel). They maybe sacrifices of spiritual, intellectual, moral, physical or material things; depending on the particular moment, we shall have the opportunity of offering first one and then another. What is important is that we should be ready to take advantage of every opportunity that presents itself; in particular, that we should be ready to make sacrifices when this is required of us in order to fulfill our duty to God, to our neighbour and to ourselves. All the more so if such a sacrifice is necessary in order to avoid transgressing one of the commandments of God’s Law; in these circumstances, the obligation to offer up whatever is necessary is obligatory, because we have an obligation to offer up whatever is necessary in order to avoid committing sin. Our eternal salvation depends on it, as Jesus Christ tells us in the Gospel: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?” (Lk 9, 23-25). From what our Lord says to us here, we see that we must be prepared to die rather than commit a grave sin which might cause us to lose eternal life. Now the same is true, and all the more so, if obeying God’s law demands of us sacrifices of something of less value than our own lives.”
Our Lord even warns us that whoever would save his life, will lose it: in other words, anyone who wishes to satisfy their sinful appetites without repenting or making amends, will lose the life He has prepared for them. How can we not ask ourselves with Jesus “What does it profit us if we gain the whole world, and lose or forfeit ourselves?”
In the same way, Jesus warns us: “He who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10, 38)
This is a huge challenge for us all. The pleasures of this world take heed in us and control many of our aspects in life. Our desires become the desires of the world. We must learn to control our efforts and redirect our thoughts in every situation to Jesus, “the way the truth and the life”. The world passes by day by day, the days are long yet, the years fly by like a blink of the eye. We all need to make a conscious effort to strive daily in our sacrifices in which He allows for our purification. This is the road that leads to Jesus and eternal happiness.