Human Weakness Misunderstood

Father Frassinetti clears up a misunderstanding regarding human weakness. He writes: “The mischief is, that we accustom ourselves to draw distinctions between one thing and another, calling some things small and others great. . . . We flatter ourselves that we can succeed in the former; and then, not reflecting on the power of the Divine assistance, by virtue of which we are able to do all things, we despair of being able to accomplish the latter.”

The solution is this: “Let us be persuaded that we must seek continually from God, and expect from Him, all power, whether for little things or great ones. Then the consideration of our own weakness can never deprive us of courage, and our confidence will be invincible.”

“Was it not the saints who undertook and brought to a good termination the greatest, the most difficult works, and undertook them also without any of the means which ordinarily would have been considered indispensable? Were they overbold? Were they imprudent? Assuredly not; they knew that God required of them these works for His service, and this knowledge was sufficient for them. They knew that they were about to work with God, to whom nothing is impossible, and they were confident that they should be equally successful in great and in little things.”

“Mark what St. Paul says: ‘I can do all things through God, who strengthens me.’ He was not content with saying, ‘I can do some things,’ but ‘all things.’ He, then, would never have thought of keeping himself only from mortal sins just to obtain salvation. Nay, he thought it by far the best to be able to abstain from venial sins also, and thereby hope to attain the very high glory that those have in Heaven who on earth aspire to arrive at perfect sanctity.”

Quotations from Joseph Frassinetti, The Consolation of the Devout Soul, trans. Georgiana Lady Chatterton (London: Burns and Oates, 1876).

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