He makes the weak of this world mighty only to the extent that they cooperate with a determined and resolute repentance.

Might comes from cooperation with God’s divine will. I’ve found this to be true in confronting venial sin in particular. When I do my best to cooperate with what I know to be God’s will, it is only difficult at first, as I wrestle with following my will vs. His. Once the wrestling is over and I’ve embraced God’s will, I am immediately strengthened, ready and almost eager to battle the next challenge.

Being vibrantly concerned is the first step toward a strong determination to do something about the problem.

Awareness, knowledge of oneself and one’s weaknesses, is essential for any real change to happen.

committing them to rote memory

Fr. Dubay talks about the seven reasons he enumerates in Chapter 6, why deep conversion and deep prayer are key to becoming a completely loving, happy and fulfilled human person. I’m listing them here to help me remember:

1. happiness and fulfillment
2. real love
3. unobscured sight and insight
4. ecumenical effectiveness
5. purification of venial sins
6. inexpressible joy
7. eternity

He then adds four more; here’s the first:

apostolic effectiveness is increased…. lay men and women witnessing to truth, love and beauty by the example of their lives… spouses in their homes witnessing to each other and to their children and their extended families and friends. To bring people closer to God, competency and clarity are important, but they are not enough. Of themselves they do not touch hearts deeply. Personal sanctity and goodness do. It is the saints who light fires.

Every time I read that line, I think, “I want to be that saint who lights fires!!! Help me be that saint, Lord!!”

He also quotes from Frank Sheed’s The Church and I

… for ideas which could call upon a man to change his life, lucidity is not enough. The self of the teacher has to make contact in depth with the self of the hearer.

If we are going to bring people closer to God in work and life our own deepening conversion is indispensable.

This is so true. Just over the weekend someone was seeking my advice — she needs to help someone become holier (she didn’t put it that way, but that’s basically the goal in a nutshell). I pointed out that while she’s helping her loved one, she needs to be working on her holiness herself. And likewise, while I’m giving advice to her, *I* need to be working on my own holiness.

… if husbands and wives really love each other and their children, the best and most effective proof that their love is not mere words is to get rid of their major and minor selfishnesses and to deepen their prayer lives.

And again. I cannot inspire my husband to greater holiness unless I’m working on my personal holiness. I cannot teach my children to be less selfish if they can see that I’m being selfish myself. And I cannot teach them to deepen their prayer lives, when they don’t even see me praying or see the results of prayer in my own life and in my dealings with them.

There is no substitute for authenticity.

True that.

Authenticity, honesty, sincerity, integrity. REAL. A fusing of who we are in our minds, our spirits, our hearts, and our external selves.