expecting to see growth
"It is no more than right that we thank God unceasingly for you, brothers, because your faith grows apace and your mutual love increases." —2 Thessalonians 1:3
Paul thanked the Lord unceasingly for the Thessalonian Christians because their faith and mutual love grew. Paul expected the early Christians to grow in holiness and for their growth to be clearly recognizable. Thus, Paul could thank the Lord for their growth.
If someone asked us whether our faith has grown in the last twelve months, many of us would be at a loss to answer. We probably have an ambiguous idea that we should grow in holiness but are not focused on our growth so that we can readily evaluate it. Yet isn't this partly the reason for the traditional Catholic practice of a daily examination of conscience? While we cannot quantify spiritual growth as precisely as other types of growth, growth in holiness can be determined to a point that we can thank the Lord for it.
Therefore, let us ask the Lord what areas in us needing growth He will be working on from now till Advent. Let us ask Him what steps He wants us to take in cooperating with His grace. Let us expect to see ourselves grow in holiness and to begin Advent thanking the Lord for this growth.
Prayer: Father, may I want to grow in holiness more than I want pleasure or success.
Promise: "We pray for you always that our God may make you worthy of His call, and fulfill by His power every honest intention and work of faith." —2 Thes 1:11
Praise: St. Rose is said to have radiated the presence of God and laid down her life in reparation for the sinfulness of society.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Developing a Deep, Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Richard L. Klug, January 16, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 26, 2004