My own strength? Not

“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?” And he said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.’
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Friends in Christ, in the gospel today, Our Lord is disappointed with the people chasing after him, because their minds are on earthly things. Jesus wishes our eyes to look more upward, to Him, to ensure that what we are doing is done with Him.
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In his famous book, The Soul of the Apostolate, Dom Chautard emphasizes that a life of good works and even many important undertakings, are useless if we do not have an interior life. We need to have an interior life, that is, acting and living in union with God.
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The world of today is intoxicated with its own, sterile, activities; so much of what is passed off for virtuous or generous works, is often a veneer for pride and worldly motivations.
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St. Josemaria would say that prayer must be first in our life. Second in importance is sacrifice, self-denial, the seeking of humility; and lastly – and definitely last: good works, actions, and activities.
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Can you imagine if a priest said, ‘I’m really too busy to pray; we have so many important projects to do and sermons to write and sick to visit – I always tell God that I will produce great results for him if he just stays out of my way.’ Can we imagine how utterly pathetic that would be, to hear that a priest puts his confidence in his own efforts and does not rely on prayer and the assistance of God? We would say: ‘He’s crazy.’
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But this is the truth for everyone. The Lord has said, ‘Without me, you can do nothing,’ and any experienced Christian has learned that – usually the hard way.
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Pope St. John Paul II said that there is a temptation that continually hangs over every good work: the thought that the results depend on me. Of course we must work hard, ‘but,’ he says, ‘it is fatal to forget that “without Christ we can do nothing.”

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