Daily Thought For August 24, 2018

God Sows - We Wait With Patience
The apostolic mission is sometimes to sow without being able to see any fruits. At other times it is reaping what others have sown with their words, or with their pain offered up from a hospital bed, or with their hidden and monotonous work which has remained unnoticed by human eyes. Whichever is the case, God wants sower and reaper to rejoice together? The apostolate is a task which both gives joy and demands sacrifice as we go about our sowing and reaping.

The apostolic task is also work that is patient and constant. Just as the farm-laborer knows how to wait and wait until the first shoots appear above the ground, and wait still longer till harvest time, so must we know how to persevere in bringing souls to God. The Gospel and our own experience teach us that grace usually takes time to bear fruit in souls. We know too about the resistance many hearts put up against grace, as our own heart may have done at some time. We will then help others by having more patience (which is closely related to the virtue of fortitude) and a constancy that will not readily turn into discouragement. We should not try to gather the crop before it is ripe. It is this very patience that moves us to be understanding with others, for we are convinced that souls, like good wine, improve with time.

Waiting patiently should not be confused with negligence or with plain abandonment. It is quite the opposite. It moves us to employ the most appropriate means for the particular situation that the person we want to help is in at a given moment - an abundance of the light of doctrine, more prayer and cheerfulness, a spirit of sacrifice, a deepening of our friendship.

It may sometimes seem that the seed has fallen on rocky ground or among thorns, and that the fruit we are hoping for is taking a long time to make its appearance. At these moments, when we see that the green blade does not come up when we want it to, we have to reject any trace of pessimism. You are often mistaken when you say, 'I brought my children up wrongly: or 'I did not know how to do good to those around me.' What happens is that you have not achieved the result you were hoping for, that you do not yet see the fruit you would have wished for, because the harvest is not yet ripe. What does matter is that you have sown the seed, that you have given God to souls. When God wants, those souls will return to him. You may not be there to see it, but there will be others who will gather in what you have sown. What matters is that Christ, on whose behalf we have made so much effort, will be beside us. 
from In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez Volume 3 pp. 133-134

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