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Faith and Success

“I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness…God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful.” (Mother Teresa)

“God expects each disciple to endure and be faithful in this life. Our first task as Christians is not to acquire an education, get a job, or tend a business. Nor is it instructing our children in the faith, nor teaching them how to love the Lord. Before any of these worthy goals, we must tend our own soul by seeking purity, living uprightly, and pleasing God in word and deed.” (Dynamis 4/3/2021)

“When God calls us to carry out a mission in His name, He does not promise that it will be easy. He only promises to be with us. He does not promise to give us magical powers to accomplish it; He only promises to empower us with the gifts of the Sprit. He does not demand that we be successful. He only asks us to be faithful. Paul said to the Philippians, “For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him but to suffer for His sake” (OSB Philippians 2:29). God is all-powerful and does not need us to fulfill His will. He could simply say the Word, and it would be done. Or He could make His assignment comfortable for us to carry out. But the Lord gives us the privilege to serve Him. He honors us with His calling not only for His sake and not only for the sake of others. He gives us His work to do for our sake. Every calling, every challenge, and every mission that comes from the Lord benefits our souls. Despite the difficulties, fulfilling the Almighty’s will strengthens our faith, bolsters our willingness to obey the Lord, and increases our love for God and those we are called to serve.” (Fr. Basil)

“To be faithful means to be absolutely true to one’s word, to be totally loyal in one’s devotion, to be completely steadfast and unswerving in one’s own calling and vocation. It also means to remain in humble service, in truth and in love, no matter what the conditions or consequences. To be faithful means to be courageous and to be and to do that which one must be and do by God’s will, regardless of any rejection by others and in spite of any lack of recognition or appreciation. God Himself is perfectly faithful….Faithfulness is characterized by stability of body and soul; the utter refusal to move or be moved for any unworthy reason; the complete dedication to what God gives one to do, with the faith, grace and strength that God gives to do it.” (Fr. Thomas Hopko)

There is an anecdote of a priest who begins a new assignment…He delivers a brilliant sermon, and receives many compliments….the priest offers the same homily, and again receives several compliments….he repeats the same homily, but receives fewer compliments….when the priest delivers his…message for the fourth consecutive week, he is met by a delegation..“Why have you offered the same message four times?” they demand. The priest replies, “Because you have not changed yet.”… The change that we seek is a change of attitude, an attitude that reflects an understanding of the world from God’s perspective. God’s perspective is that He loves us, He is faithful to us, He has taken on flesh and opens to us His life… Our purpose is not to come to the end of our lives with a massive count of possessions and accumulated wealth that we leave behind. We are created to love God and to be loved by Him, to enjoy the treasures that He has prepared for us. Nevertheless, most Christians still need to go to work on Monday morning. But work takes on new meaning. The workplace now offers opportunities for us to be loved by God and to be faithful to Him.” (Fr. John Abdalah)


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