Her Doctrine and Morals

The Feast of St. Ann

26 July 2015


The Sunday


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Dear Friend,

There are many fish in the sea, but not all of them are considered worthy of keeping. Many of them are cast aside. On the last day, all of mankind will be gathered together like all the fish are gathered together in a net. The angels will come and sort out the good from the bad. The good will be gathered together to enter into heaven and the bad will be cast into the flames of Hell.

We often may wonder why these evil people even exist. Why does God tolerate them to live among the good and scandalize them? Returning to the analogy of the fish, we see that the rejected fish did provide a useful service earlier. The smaller fish are not kept, but they provided food for the others. The inedible fish helped clean or balance the ecosystem so that the others may prosper. In a similar manner, every human being good or bad provides a necessary service to mankind. It is often even against their wills or in spite of themselves that they ultimately do good and give glory to God.

Evil men often do perform some useful service to society. They make it possible for society to continue by whatever form of work they are engaged in. In this manner they are like the bottom feeding fish that help clean up the water and make the water better for the good fish. Aside from the obvious material benefit that bad men provide to mankind, there is a spiritual one. The scandal that bad man bring into the world affords the opportunity for good men to practice and advance in grace and virtue by resisting their temptations. They provide a daily example of the illusions of empty pleasures of the world. They daily show us the fact that this world is not our true home. We were created for something better, something permanent and lasting.

We see that evil men increase the merits of the good, and in this way give greater honor and glory to God. There is no merit in this for these evil men, and they have no intention of performing this good for others; but God draws good from everything. All things work for the good of those who love God, even when bad men try to undermine and destroy all that is good.

We must strive to be good and give honor and glory to God freely and willingly, rather than be forced to do His will against our own will and thus make ourselves miserable in time and in eternity. This demands that we recognize the evils around ourselves and do all that we can to protect ourselves from them.

This is shown to us in today's epistle of the valiant woman. She looked ahead and provided for herself and her family. Before the cold of winter set in, she made sure that everyone had protective clothing. She prepared land to support them, meals to feed them, etc. She saw the evils that were around them and the dangers that they may face in the future and did all that she could to best protect and provide for herself and her loved ones. She did all this tirelessly and ceaselessly. We must do the same for ourselves. We must prudently provide ourselves with the necessities of life; but more importantly we must provide ourselves with the necessities of our spiritual life. We need to feed our souls and provide a supply for the future necessities of our souls. We need to build up a supply of virtue and grace to carry us through the difficult times ahead, just as the woman grew and stored up food for the winter. As she made protective clothing against the cold of winter, we must make protective habits (virtues) against the temptations to come.

St. Ann was this valiant woman, and she provided all of us with God's blessings: His Mother Mary, through whom was given to us God, Himself. As we give honor to St. Ann and thank her for all her love and valiant labors that have brought to us the greatest benefits possible; let us never forget that we must imitate her. The saints are given to us for our imitation. The greatest form of praise is in faithful imitation. St. Ann has provided for her own security in eternity and she has given us the example and provided the means of grace for the rest of us. Now it is our turn, we must rise to the occasion and prudently prepare ourselves for the struggles and difficulties that are ahead of us through unceasing prayer and the practice of virtues. In doing this, we store up graces that will aid us in the struggles ahead.

We must also remember that those who are the cause of our difficulties and struggles, are doing us a great service and are useful to us in this now and especially in eternity. We must not hate them, but love them all the more as we realize the great good they are doing for us. We also should consider the great evil that they are bringing upon themselves by what they are doing; and beg from God His forgiveness for them. In this we imitate Jesus as He prayed upon the cross: "Father, forgive them; for they know not what they are doing."

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