ON A LIVELY FAITH
by Bishop Richard Challoner, 1807
Consider 3rdly, that the Christian must come at this lively faith by desiring, seeking, and heartily praying for it. But the most effectual means of arriving at it is by serious considerations and daily meditations. The great Christian truths relating to God and eternity are very moving when they are duly weighed and considered; but they make little or no impression upon worldlings, who live in a perpetual forgetfulness of them. To bring forth a lively faith in the soul they must take deep root there. But how shall they take deep root if they are not suffered to sink deep into the soul by consideration? Hence the great difference between the good and the bad Christian, the saint and the sinner, is, that the one thinks, and the other does not think; the one keeps his faith alive by frequently meditating on divine truths; the otherâ€™s faith is dead, and his whole soul is laid waste with utter desolation, because he seldom or never thinks in his heart.
Conclude to labour for the acquiring and maintaining this lively faith, by praying well and living well, but more especially, by thinking well; for without this, thou wilt have little or no sense of God in thy prayer, and little or no sign of God in thy life.
Prayer to Obtain Final Perseverance
Eternal Father, I humbly adore Thee , and thank Thee for having created and redeemed me through Jesus Christ. I thank Thee most sincerely for having made me a Christian by giving me the true faith , and by adopting me as Thy child in the sacrament of baptism. I thank Thee for having, after the numberless sins I have committed, waited for my repentance, and for having pardoned, as I humbly hope, all my offences, for which I am now sincerely sorry, because they displeased Thee, who art infinite goodness. I thank Thee for having preserved me so frequently from relapsing into my former sins, which I certainly should have done had it not been for Thy divine protection. But my enemies still continue to persecute me, and until the moment of my death they will unceasingly endeavor to make me their slave. If Thou dost not constantly guard and succor me with thy aid, I, a miserable creature, shall return to sin, and certainly lose Thy grace. I beseech Thee, then, for the love of Jesus Christ, to grant me holy perseverance unto death. Jesus Thy Son has promised that Thou wilt grant whatsoever we ask in His name. Through the merits, then, of Jesus Christ I beg, for myself and for all the just, the grace never again to be separated from Thy love, but to love Thee forever, in time and eternity. Mary, Mother of God , pray to Jesus for me.