Daily Thought For December 4, 2014

Fill In The Valleys of Fear & Discouragement

St. John gives some particulars in today's Gospel. Make straight the way of the Lord, fill up the valleys, lower the mountains and hills. They, as well as the ditches and valleys, trouble travelers. Make straight the paths. Those that twist and turn and fatigue the pilgrim greatly. Our life too contains many hills, valleys and tortuous ways which can be put right only by penitence. Penitence fills up the valleys, lays low the mountains, makes straight and smoothes the ways. Do penance, says St. John; lower those mountains of pride, fill up those valleys, those ditches of lukewarmness and tepidity. 

The valleys which the glorious St. John wants us to fill up are none other than fear which, when it is excessive, leads to discouragement at the sight of our sins. Fill up the valleys; that is, fill your heart with confidence and hope because salvation is near at hand. [Lk. 21:28; Rom. 13:11]. The sight of our great faults brings with it a certain horror and shock, a certain fear and terror which unnerves the heart and often leads it to discouragement. These are the ditches and valleys that must be filled up for Our Lord's coming. 

St. Francis De Sales The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales For Advent & Christmas pp.45-46

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