Five Foolish Virgins

(This article courtesy of the Arlington Catholic Herald.)

Basically, they were all given the same clean, fresh start, but the wise ones thought ahead and kept their minds on where they were and what they were doing.

Let us assume that the giving of the lamp is the reception of the candle on the day of your baptism. Depending upon the age at which you were baptized you would have heard these or similar words, “You are always to walk as a child of the light. May you keep the flame of faith alive in your heart. When the Lord comes, may He go out to meet you with all the saints in the heavenly kingdom.” You see, the promises of baptism are meant to be infrangible. How many people take the baptismal candle and toss it into a drawer? Too many. More importantly, how many people take the promises that were made on the great day of their baptism and chuck them alongside the candle? Too many. How many have really kept 'the flame of faith alive in their hearts' since their baptism? Too few.

Hopefully, by virtue of the fact that you are even reading this article, you want to at least try to keep the lamp filled and the fire burning. If that is indeed the case, how do you do it? Just as those five wise virgins had to head to the store and purchase some extra oil stocks for the lamp, so too does the faithful Catholic need to “head to the store” and stock up on the necessary supplies. For starters, how about a dose or two of confessional grace — a perfect remedy against any nagging thoughts of neglecting the baptismal promises. Without this that lamp will be left to burn down to nothing with no way to re-light it when needed. Next, a weekly (or better yet, daily) trip to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to receive the Lord in the Eucharist — what better way to strengthen yourself for the perhaps lengthy wait for the appearance of the Bridegroom?

Physically speaking, everyone tires and needs sleep. But spiritually speaking, there is no room for laying about and taking a nap. That kind of attention and endurance takes effort and nutrition, the former being provided by you, the latter by God Himself. Lastly, a daily life of prayer — the ideal way to ensure that you will be ready when He comes. Consistent prayer allows you to spend the time waiting for the arrival of Christ fruitfully.

When it's all said and done only one thing is certain — the Bridegroom will come. What's still left to be determined? Whether or not you will be left in the dark or rejoicing at the feast.

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