Since I have received compliments for fidelity to the Church, a Catholic lawyer friend suggested that I publish something on this topic, which he researched and helped to prepare.
In the introduction to the book published in 2012, “A Spiritual Autobiography” by Servant of God Fr. John Hardon (1914-2000), internationally renowned theologian and adviser to His Holiness Pope John Paul II, wrote: “If there is one autobiography that has deeply shaped my life, it has been the story of St. Augustine. He credits himself only with the commission of his sins. He credits God with whatever good he has done.”
There is merit in cooperating with God’s grace and we do earn that. Just look at the saints. God rewards the good and punishes the wicked.
Who am I and why am I here?
“God made us. God is the Supreme Being Who made all things. God made us to show forth His Goodness, and to share with us His everlasting happiness in Heaven. To gain the happiness of Heaven we must know, love, and serve God in this world. We learn to know, love, and serve God from Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who teaches us through the Catholic Church” (New Saint Joseph Baltimore Catechism).
All honour and glory belong to Almighty God: “I am nothing”.
Father John Hardon refers to the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola and states: “God keeps us in existence by the same Almighty Love that brought us out of nothing into being in the first place. And this is something we cannot too often reflect on – our nothingness. And the great Doctor of the Church, ‘the great theologian of nothingness,’ as he has been called, is Saint John of the Cross. Oh, how deeply he realized that except for the loving omnipotence of God, we would be what we were before we became what we are, and that is nothing.”
Dom Lorenzo Scupoli wrote: “The Evil One even uses virtue to tempt us to sin, inflating our egos with exaggerated self-esteem and complacency to the point where we succumb to vainglory. Thus, we must be ceaselessly vigilant, cognizant of our own nothingness, our sinfulness, our appalling inadequacy, and ever mindful that we deserve nothing but eternal perdition. Let this remembrance be to us as a sword with which we defend ourselves from the insidious attacks of presumption and vanity; and let us fight with the vigour of a man struggling for his very life. Unquestionably, therefore, those things which we truly merit of our own power are scarcely worthy of self-esteem, let alone the esteem of others. For our glories can be traced to Heaven, but our sinfulness can be traced to ourselves”.
I am a sinner, trying to avoid sinning.
“For if any man think himself to be something, whereas he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” (Gal 6:3).
“Unless the Lord build a house, they labour in vain that build it” (Ps 126).
“For it is God Who worketh in you both to will and to accomplish, according to the good-will” (Phil 2:13).
“Not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God” (2Cor 3:5).
“It is God alone Who gives us strength, light and Grace. I am far from giving a part only to God, and a part to myself. It all exclusively belongs to Him” (Saint John Chrysostom).
“Saint Paul lays down the general principle that of our natural strength and ability we are not able even to think, much less to wish or to do, anything supernaturally good and meritorious of life eternal. The beginning, as well as the completion, of each and every salutary act requires the Grace of God” (A Commentary On The New Testament, Washington, D.C.: 1942, pp. 488-489).
“For it is incontestable that the respect men pay you, and the good for which they honour you, are due to God. You rob Him, therefore, of all the merit, which you appropriate to yourself. Can any servant be more unfaithful than one who steals his Master’s glory?” (Venerable Louis of Granada)
Give all honour and glory to Almighty God.
“And upon a day appointed, Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat on the judgment-seat and made an oration to them. And the people with acclamations cried out: It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And forthwith an Angel of the Lord struck him, because he had not given honour to God: and eaten up by worms he expired” (Acts of Apostles 12: 21-23).
The humility of Our Lord Jesus:
Let us imitate the good example of Jesus Christ, our leader Who said “I can do nothing of myself.” (John 5:30); “I do nothing of myself.” (John 8:28); and “If I glory Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father that glorifieth Me” (John 8:54).
“Attribute nothing of good to ourselves”.
The Little Flower, doctor of the Church, counsels us: “‘A soul is not holy, the Saint explained, just because Our Lord uses it as an instrument.’ …We should try to grasp this truth,’ she added, ‘and attribute nothing of good to ourselves. No one actually possesses the virtues he practices, so let everything redound to the glory of God.’ …She never tired of repeating, ‘God has need of no one, so let us not take foolish pride in the thought that He decides to make use of us at times.’” – Sister Genevieve of the Holy Face (My Sister Saint Therese (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1997, pp. 204-205).
We obtain everything through the Blessed Virgin Mary.
How fortunate are we to have the Blessed Virgin Mary as our Spiritual Mother.
His Holiness Pope Pius IX proclaimed on February 2, 1849, in Ubi primum, On The Immaculate Conception, what a significant and necessary role Our Blessed Mother Mary plays in our salvation.
“Our confidence, as you know well, Venerable Brethren, is found in the Blessed Virgin Mary. For, God has committed to Mary the Treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through Her are obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation. For this is His Will, that we obtain everything through Mary.”
Regarding compliments that I have received, I sincerely thank those persons who made them and redirect them all to Almighty God. It is good to thank people and to be grateful.
I thank the Blessed Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and God the Holy Spirit, for creating me, for calling me to be a priest, and for all the innumerable graces, and benefits that I received from them, through Our Blessed Mother Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, and Queen of Heaven and Earth.
I also thank Almighty God that I was born into a practising Catholic Family, for my dear father, my dear mother and all my dear brothers and sisters – for all the love, affection, support and encouragement they showered upon me, the prayers they recited for me, the good example they gave me in their faithful saying of our daily prayers, attendance at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, recitation of the daily family Rosary and the practice of other devotions of our Catholic Faith.
I also wish to thank everyone during my life that is due thanks.
In making this statement my intent is to give all honour and glory to Almighty God before I die and meet Him face to face for the final judgment.
Msgr. Vincent Foy, April 23, 2015