Rorate Caeli

Lent with Lacordaire: Our vocation

Pleasure is not the foundation of society, but virtue. Enjoyment is not our vocation here below, but labor and grief. God has created us expressly to produce by us a thing which He could not produce alone: that is, greatess in vileness, strength in infirmity, purity in flesh and blood, love in selfishness, good in evil, virtue in a heart which possessed each moment the liberty of being a convinced sinner. This is our vocation, our fate.

Jesus Christ conquered the world only because He knew [this fate]; and because, from His Cross, slave and God, he supremely fulfilled it. Salvation (as well as all glory and all joy) is found in following him.

This is why -- thanks be to God! -- pleasure and enjoyment shall never [be the foundation] of a society here below. Misfortune must be stronger, so that virtue may exist; there must be poor, so that alms shall be given; wounds, so that they may be bound up; tears, so that they may be accepted; disorders, so that men may aspire to order; ruins, so that pride may be humbled; ... bloodshed, so that there may be saints.

Henri-Dominique Lacordaire
Conférences à Notre-Dame de Paris (1845)