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Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria - Be steadfast, and determined in all your undertakings
Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria - Be steadfast, and determined in all your undertakings
Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria - Be steadfast, and determined in all your undertakings
Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria - Be steadfast, and determined in all your undertakings
 
 
 

 
 

St. Paul gives the Eucharist to the Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria and his two companions; copper painting of the early sixteenth century; historical archive of San Carlos ai Catinari, Rome; barnabitas.org
 
 
Remedies for Irresoluteness
Excerpts from Letter 2 (Cremona, January 4, 1531) - to Mr. Bartolomeo Ferrari and Mr. Giacomo Antonio Morigia from Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria

May God, the Changeless One, ever ready to do whatever is good, save you and make you steadfast and determined in all your undertakings and desires according to my deepest expectations.

It is quite true, my very dear friends, that God has made man’s spirit unstable and changeable in order that man would not abide in evildoing, and also that, once in possession of the good, he would not stop short, but would step up from one good to a higher one, and to a loftier one still. Thus, advancing from virtue to virtue, he might reach the summit of perfection.

Hence, it flows that man is fickle in doing evil, namely, he cannot persevere in it because he does not find repose in it. Therefore, instead of persisting in evildoing, he moves to do good; and, moreover, since creatures did not give him peace, he returns to God.

Now of course, I could give other reasons for man’s being fickle, but, to our purpose, what I have said is enough.

Oh, how wretched we are! For, when trying to do good, we use the very instability and indecisiveness we should have and exercise to avoid evil. And, indeed, I am often bewildered at seeing such great irresoluteness reign in my soul, and for so many years.

I am sure, my dear friends, that, had I reflected hard enough on the evils which irresoluteness causes, I would have uprooted this evil from my soul long ago. First of all, it hampers man’s progress because man finds himself, as it were, between two magnets without being pulled by either; namely, on the one hand, he neglects to do the present good as he looks at the future one.

On the other hand, he leaves aside the future good by lingering on the present and even having doubts about the future. Do you know who he is like? He is like the person who wants to love two opposite things and gets neither one. As the proverb teaches, "he who hunts two hares at the same time will see one fleeing, the other escaping."

As long as a man remains undecided and doubtful, he will surely never accomplish anything good. Experience teaches this. There is no need for me to go any further.

Moreover, irresoluteness causes man to change like the moon. Yes, the irresolute person is always restless and can never be content even amidst great joys; for no reason he gets sad and angry and easily looks after his own satisfaction.

In all truth, this weed of irresoluteness grows where divine light is lacking because the Holy Spirit quickly reaches the core of things rather than stop at the surface; man, instead, because he does not fathom the heart of things, is unable to decide what to do.

This indecisiveness is at one and the same time cause and effect of lukewarmness. For the lukewarm person, when called upon to give advice on a subject, will give you plenty of reasons but will not decide which are the good ones. Thus, he will never tell you where to go or what to avoid. Consequently, if you were somewhat uncertain before, you are now left completely in doubt. He becomes eternally irresolute. On the other hand, the indecisive person loses fervor and becomes lukewarm.

A whole year would not be enough to enumerate the evil results and the causes of irresoluteness. The truth is that if indecision, which we have been talking about, were the only evil, it would be itself more than enough; for, as long as man is in a state of doubt, he remains inactive.

To get rid of this defect, two means or ways have been found for our journey to God. The first helps us when we are unexpectedly forced either to do or not to do something. It consists of lifting up one’s mind to God and imploring the gift of counsel.

Let me explain: when something unforeseen and sudden presents itself, demanding that a choice be made, we lift up our minds to God asking Him to inspire us as to what we should do. Thus, following the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, we shall not be mistaken.

The second means or way consists of seeking out our spiritual director, when, of course, we have the time and opportunity to do so, to ask for advice and then act according to his suggestions.

If we, dear friends, do not take the proper measures against this evil weed, it will produce in us a pernicious effect, I mean negligence, which is totally contrary to God’s ways.

Therefore, when a man has something important to do, he must think it over and over and, as it were, ruminate upon it; but after such serious reflection and after having sought proper advice, he should not delay executing his project; for the primary requirement in God’s ways is expeditiousness and diligence.

That’s why the prophet Micah says, "What does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk eagerly with your God?"; and Paul, "avoid with care all negligence"; and Peter, "be prompt through good works ...". "Be prompt to action" he says.

You will find this sense of urgency commanded and praised in innumerable passages of the Scriptures.

My very dear friends, I have to tell you the truth: it is mainly this irresoluteness in my soul, besides, perhaps, some other shortcomings, that has caused in me this great and blamable negligence and sluggishness to the point that either I never start anything at all or at least I linger on it for so long that I never accomplish it.

Consider closely those brothers, the children of a recently deceased father who, having heard Jesus’ counsel, "Let the dead bury their dead," right away followed Christ.

And also Peter, James and John, once called, immediately followed Christ. And so, again and again, you will find that those who truly love Christ have always been, to our shame, fervent, diligent, and not sluggish.

Take courage, my brothers, stand up now and come along with me, for I mean we should root out these pernicious plants if perchance they are present in your souls; but if they are not, do come and help me as they are rooted in my heart; and, for God’s sake, cooperate so that I may uproot them and imitate our Savior, who, by His obedience unto death stood up against irresoluteness and, to avoid being negligent, ran toward the cross regardless of its shame.

And, if you can now offer me no other aid, help me at least with your prayers. Alas, dear friends, to whom do I dare to write? Indeed, to those who do act and do not merely talk, as I do.

If this is the case, at least on my part, I can assure you that only my love for you has impelled me to write these few lines to you.

Come then, brothers! If, up to this time, irresoluteness and, side by side with it, negligence have taken hold of our souls, let us get rid of them; and let us run like madmen not only toward God but also toward our neighbors, who alone can be the recipients of what we cannot give to God, since He has no need of our goods.




 
Remedies for Irresoluteness
Excerpts from Letter 2 (Cremona, January 4, 1531) - to Mr. Bartolomeo Ferrari and Mr. Giacomo Antonio Morigia from Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria

May God, the Changeless One, ever ready to do whatever is good, save you and make you steadfast and determined in all your undertakings and desires according to my deepest expectations.

It is quite true, my very dear friends, that God has made man’s spirit unstable and changeable in order that man would not abide in evildoing, and also that, once in possession of the good, he would not stop short, but would step up from one good to a higher one, and to a loftier one still. Thus, advancing from virtue to virtue, he might reach the summit of perfection.

Hence, it flows that man is fickle in doing evil, namely, he cannot persevere in it because he does not find repose in it. Therefore, instead of persisting in evildoing, he moves to do good; and, moreover, since creatures did not give him peace, he returns to God.

Now of course, I could give other reasons for man’s being fickle, but, to our purpose, what I have said is enough.

Oh, how wretched we are! For, when trying to do good, we use the very instability and indecisiveness we should have and exercise to avoid evil. And, indeed, I am often bewildered at seeing such great irresoluteness reign in my soul, and for so many years.

I am sure, my dear friends, that, had I reflected hard enough on the evils which irresoluteness causes, I would have uprooted this evil from my soul long ago. First of all, it hampers man’s progress because man finds himself, as it were, between two magnets without being pulled by either; namely, on the one hand, he neglects to do the present good as he looks at the future one.

On the other hand, he leaves aside the future good by lingering on the present and even having doubts about the future. Do you know who he is like? He is like the person who wants to love two opposite things and gets neither one. As the proverb teaches, "he who hunts two hares at the same time will see one fleeing, the other escaping."

As long as a man remains undecided and doubtful, he will surely never accomplish anything good. Experience teaches this. There is no need for me to go any further.

Moreover, irresoluteness causes man to change like the moon. Yes, the irresolute person is always restless and can never be content even amidst great joys; for no reason he gets sad and angry and easily looks after his own satisfaction.

In all truth, this weed of irresoluteness grows where divine light is lacking because the Holy Spirit quickly reaches the core of things rather than stop at the surface; man, instead, because he does not fathom the heart of things, is unable to decide what to do.

This indecisiveness is at one and the same time cause and effect of lukewarmness. For the lukewarm person, when called upon to give advice on a subject, will give you plenty of reasons but will not decide which are the good ones. Thus, he will never tell you where to go or what to avoid. Consequently, if you were somewhat uncertain before, you are now left completely in doubt. He becomes eternally irresolute. On the other hand, the indecisive person loses fervor and becomes lukewarm.

A whole year would not be enough to enumerate the evil results and the causes of irresoluteness. The truth is that if indecision, which we have been talking about, were the only evil, it would be itself more than enough; for, as long as man is in a state of doubt, he remains inactive.

To get rid of this defect, two means or ways have been found for our journey to God. The first helps us when we are unexpectedly forced either to do or not to do something. It consists of lifting up one’s mind to God and imploring the gift of counsel.

Let me explain: when something unforeseen and sudden presents itself, demanding that a choice be made, we lift up our minds to God asking Him to inspire us as to what we should do. Thus, following the Holy Spirit’s inspiration, we shall not be mistaken.

The second means or way consists of seeking out our spiritual director, when, of course, we have the time and opportunity to do so, to ask for advice and then act according to his suggestions.

If we, dear friends, do not take the proper measures against this evil weed, it will produce in us a pernicious effect, I mean negligence, which is totally contrary to God’s ways.

Therefore, when a man has something important to do, he must think it over and over and, as it were, ruminate upon it; but after such serious reflection and after having sought proper advice, he should not delay executing his project; for the primary requirement in God’s ways is expeditiousness and diligence.

That’s why the prophet Micah says, "What does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk eagerly with your God?"; and Paul, "avoid with care all negligence"; and Peter, "be prompt through good works ...". "Be prompt to action" he says.

You will find this sense of urgency commanded and praised in innumerable passages of the Scriptures.

My very dear friends, I have to tell you the truth: it is mainly this irresoluteness in my soul, besides, perhaps, some other shortcomings, that has caused in me this great and blamable negligence and sluggishness to the point that either I never start anything at all or at least I linger on it for so long that I never accomplish it.

Consider closely those brothers, the children of a recently deceased father who, having heard Jesus’ counsel, "Let the dead bury their dead," right away followed Christ.

And also Peter, James and John, once called, immediately followed Christ. And so, again and again, you will find that those who truly love Christ have always been, to our shame, fervent, diligent, and not sluggish.

Take courage, my brothers, stand up now and come along with me, for I mean we should root out these pernicious plants if perchance they are present in your souls; but if they are not, do come and help me as they are rooted in my heart; and, for God’s sake, cooperate so that I may uproot them and imitate our Savior, who, by His obedience unto death stood up against irresoluteness and, to avoid being negligent, ran toward the cross regardless of its shame.

And, if you can now offer me no other aid, help me at least with your prayers. Alas, dear friends, to whom do I dare to write? Indeed, to those who do act and do not merely talk, as I do.

If this is the case, at least on my part, I can assure you that only my love for you has impelled me to write these few lines to you.

Come then, brothers! If, up to this time, irresoluteness and, side by side with it, negligence have taken hold of our souls, let us get rid of them; and let us run like madmen not only toward God but also toward our neighbors, who alone can be the recipients of what we cannot give to God, since He has no need of our goods.




 
 
 

 
 

Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria adoring Christ Crucified; Barnabites - Clerics Regular of St. Paul; barnabitas.org
 
 
"I knelt for a long time before the Crucifix for I thought it was necessary to learn from Him what I have to teach you."


"If through perfect humility you will be able to know objectively yourself, only then will you be."


 
"I knelt for a long time before the Crucifix for I thought it was necessary to learn from Him what I have to teach you."


"If through perfect humility you will be able to know objectively yourself, only then will you be."


 
 
 
 
July 5 - Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria (1502-1539) - Excerpts from Letter 2 - Remedies for Irresoluteness - Confessor and One of the Founders of the Barnabites, Angelic Sisters, and Laity of St. Paul
 
 

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top
X
OUR FATHER

Our Father, Who Art In Heaven
Hallowed Be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy Will be done
On earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
Liberate us from all temptation[*]
And deliver us from all evil. Amen



[*] Liberate us is in keeping with the original Latin text.
       God usually does not "lead us" to temptation
       (unless we are tested),
       but gives us the grace to overcome and/or resist it
X
HAIL MARY

Hail Mary, full of grace
The Lord is with thee.
Blessed art though among women,
And blessed is the fruit
Of thy womb, Jesus.
 
Holy Mary, Mary of God
Pray for us sinners
Now, and in the hour
Of our death. Amen


 
X
APOSTLE'S CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ, His Only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the
[work and grace of the] Holy Ghost,[*]
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, died and was buried.
He descended into the Dead.[**]
On the third day, He rose again;
He ascended into Heaven,
And sits at the right hand of God,
the Father Almighty.
From thence he shall come to judge
the living and the dead.
 
I believe in the Holy Ghost,[*]
The Holy Catholic Church,
The communion of saints,
The forgiveness of sins.
The resurrection of the body,
And life everlasting. Amen


[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
[**] the Dead: "inferi", the underworld or the dead in Latin.
X
GLORIA

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive
to the voice of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all her iniquities.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost[*],
as it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen

[*] Holy Ghost: may be substituted with the current Holy Spirit.
X
DE PROFUNDIS

Out of the depths I have cried to Thee, O Lord:
Lord, hear my voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice
of my supplication.

If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities:
Lord, who shall abide it.
For with Thee there is merciful forgiveness:
and because of Thy law,
I have waited for Thee, O Lord.

My soul hath waited on His word:
my soul hath hoped in the Lord.
From the morning-watch even until night,
let Israel hope in the Lord.

For with the Lord there is mercy:
and with Him plenteous redemption.
And He shall redeem Israel
from all his iniquities.

V. Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord.
R. And let perpetual light shine upon them.
V. From the gate of hell.
R. Deliver their souls, O Lord.
V. May then rest in peace.
R. Amen.
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
V. The Lord be with you.
R. And with Thy Spirit.

(50 days indulgence to all who pray the De Profundis with V. and R.
"Requiem aeternam" (Eternal Rest) three times a day.
Pope Leo XIII, February 3, 1888)


Let us pray:
O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all
the faithful, we beseech Thee to grant
to the souls of Thy servants the remission
of their sins, so that by our prayers
they may obtain pardon for which they long.
O Lord, who lives and reigns,
world without end. Amen

May they rest in peace. Amen

CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
PADRE NUESTRO

Padre Nuestro,
que estas en los Cielos
Santificado sea Tu Nombre;
Venga a nosotros tu Reino;
Hágase Tu Voluntad
en la tierra como en el cielo.
Danos hoy nuestro pan de cada día;
Perdona nuestras ofensas,
Como también nosotros
perdonamos a los que nos ofenden,
No nos dejes caer en la tentación,
y líbranos del mal. Amén
 
CERRAR
SIGUIENTE
AVE MARÍA

Dios te salve, María,
llena eres de gracia;
El Señor es Contigo;
Bendita Tú eres
entre todas las mujeres,
Y bendito es el fruto
De tu vientre, Jesús.
 
Santa María,
Madre de Dios,
Ruega por nosotros
pecadores,
Ahora y en la hora
De nuestra muerte.
Amén
 
CERRAR
CREDO

Creo en Dios, Padre Todopoderoso,
Creador del cielo y de la tierra.
Creo en Jesucristo,
Su único Hijo, Nuestro Señor,
Que fue concebido por obra
y gracia del Espíritu Santo,
Nació de la Santa María Virgen;
Padeció bajo el poder de Poncio Pilato,
Fue crucificado, muerto y sepultado,
Descendió a los infiernos,
Al tercer día resucitó de entre los muertos,
Subió a los cielos
Y está sentado a la derecha de Dios,
Padre Todopoderoso.
Desde allí ha de venir a juzgar
a los vivos y a los muertos.

Creo en el Espíritu Santo,
La Santa Iglesia Católica,
La comunión de los santos,
El perdón de los pecados,
La resurrección de la carne
Y la vida eterna. Amén
 
 
CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor; Señor,
escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos
a la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?
Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia.
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

X
GLORIA

Gloria al Padre, al Hijo y al
Espíritu Santo,
como es desde el principio,
es ahora y será por los siglos de los siglos.
Amén

CERRAR
DE PROFUNDIS

Desde lo hondo a Ti grito, Señor;
Señor, escucha mi voz;
Estén Tus oidos atentos a
la voz de mi súplica.

Si llevas cuenta de los delitos, Señor,
¿quién podrá resistir?

Pero de ti procede el perdón,
y así infundes respeto.
Mi alma espera en el Señor.

Espera en su palabra;
mi alma aguarda al Señor,
más que el centinela la aurora.
Aguarda Israel al Señor.

Como el centinela la aurora;
porque del Señor viene la misericordia,
la redención copiosa;
y Él redimirá a Israel de todos sus delitos.

V. Dadles, Señor, a todas las almas
el descanso eterno.
R. Y haced lucir sobre ellas
vuestra eterna luz.
V. Que en paz descansen.
R. Amén.