We must labor for our eternal reward

November 26, 2021 • 3 min

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 370
By Venerable Louis of Granada

The number and enormity of your sins demand a proportionate penance and fervor to satisfy for them.

St. Peter denied his Master three times, but never ceased to weep for his sin, though he knew it had been pardoned.

St. Mary Magdalen to the end of her life likewise bewailed the disorders of her youth, though she heard from our Saviour’s lips these sweet words: “Thy sins are forgiven thee.”

Numerous are the examples of those who, returning to God, continued during life to do penance for their sins, though many of them had offended God far less grievously than you.

You daily heap up your sins; and can you consider any labor too severe to expiate them? Oh! profit by this time of grace and mercy to bring forth fruits worthy of penance, and by the labors of this life to purchase the eternal repose of the next.

Our works in themselves are paltry and insignificant, but united to the merits of Christ they acquire infinite value in the sight of God. The labor endures but a short time; the reward will continue for eternity.

We are told of a saint who was wont to exclaim at the striking of the clock: “O my God! another hour has flown—one of those hours sent me in which to work out my salvation, and for which I must render an account to Thee.” Let his example inspire us with a determination to profit by the time which is given us to lay up works for eternal life.

If overwhelmed with labors, remember that we must enter Heaven by the way of tribulation, and that he only will be crowned who strives lawfully. [2 Tim. ii. 5.]

If tempted to abandon the struggle, remember that it is written: “He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.” [St. Matt. x. 29.] Without this perseverance our labor will neither bear fruit nor merit reward.

Our Saviour would not descend from the cross when asked by the Jews, for the work of our redemption was not accomplished. If, then, we desire to follow in the footsteps of our Divine Model, let us labor to the end with unwearied zeal.

Is not the reward which awaits us eternal? Let us continue to do penance; let us carry our cross after Christ. What will it avail us to have weathered the storms and triumphed over the perils of the sea of life, if we suffer shipwreck as we are about to enter the port of eternal rest?

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