When Our Lord was upon earth, He told His apostles to go and teach all nations. In other words, He asked that we leave our comforts, leave our homes, and go and proclaim the good news of Christianity to the whole world.
The Pilgrims of Saint Michael go on the road constantly to proclaim the truth of Social Credit, working to put into application the social doctrine of the Catholic Church, and at the same time, working for the love of neighbor. Love of neighbor means that we must work for the good of all and strive for the salvation of souls.
The Rosary Crusade, the door-to-door apostolate of visiting the families to pray in the homes and to introduce them to the Work of “Michael”, has been their major apostolate since 1968. It was in 1968 that the Blessed Virgin asked in an Apparition that we visit the families and do a crusade for Her Rosary. How many sacrifices the Pilgrims make doing this apostolate, going long hours in the heat, in the cold, in the rain, but what a joy it is to work with Heaven to save souls. And as St. James wrote in his Epistle (5:20): “He who causeth a sinner to be converted from the error of his way, shall save his soul from death, and shall cover a multitude of sins.”
Here is a meditation entitled “Zeal for souls” by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. in a book entitled “Divine Intimacy” which expresses so very well the teaching of the Church on this subject.
According to the measure in which the love of God takes possession of our heart, it creates and nourishes in us an ever increasing love for our neighbor; this love, being supernatural, seeks only the supernatural good of our fellow men and thus becomes zeal for the salvation of souls.
If we have little love of God, we shall have little love for souls, and vice versa; if our zeal for souls is weak, this means our love of God is also weak. In fact, how could it be possible to love God sincerely without loving those who are His children, the object of His love, of His care, and of His zeal? Souls are, as it were, God's treasure; He has created them to His image and likeness by an act of love; and by an even greater act of love He has redeemed them with the Blood of His only-begotten Son. “For God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting” (Jn 3,16).
One who has penetrated the mystery of God's love for men cannot remain indifferent to their fate: by the light of faith, he has understood that all that God does in the world is for man's good and for his eternal happiness. He longs to have some share in this action, knowing that he can do nothing which will be more pleasing to God than to lend his humble collaboration for the salvation of those who are so dear to Him. This was always the ardent desire of the saints, a desire which impelled them to perform heroic acts of generosity to benefit even one soul. St. Teresa of Jesus writes: “This is an inclination given me by Our Lord; and I think He prizes one soul which, by His mercy and through our diligence and prayer, we may have gained for Him, more than all the other services we can render Him” (F,1).
It is true that the primary end of God's action is His own glory, but He who is infinitely good wills to obtain this glory especially through the salvation and the happiness of His creatures. In fact, nothing exalts His goodness, love, and mercy more than the work of saving souls. Therefore, to love God and His glory means to love souls; it means to work and sacrifice oneself for their salvation.
Zeal for souls finds its source in charity and in the contemplation of Christ crucified. His wounds, His Blood, the excruciating sufferings of His agony all tell us how much God values souls and how dearly He loves them. But this love is unrequited, and it seems that ungrateful men strive more and more to elude His action. It is this sad spectacle of all the ages which is renewed even today, as though men wished to insult Jesus and renew His Passion.
“The world is on fire. Men try to condemn Christ once again, as it were, for they bring a thousand false witnesses against Him. They would raze His Church to the ground” (T.J. Way, 1). If Teresa of Jesus could speak these words in her century which was troubled by the Protestant heresy, how much more can we say it in ours, when the struggle against God and the Church has increased immeasurably, and has now spread over the entire world. Happy shall we be if we can say with the Saint: “It breaks my heart to see so many souls traveling to perdition. I would the evil were not so great I felt that I would have laid down a thousand lives to save a single one of all the souls that were being lost” (ibid). But it is not a question of merely formulating desires; we must work, act, and suffer for the salvation of our fellow men.
St. John Chrysostom affirms: “Nothing is colder than a Christian who does not care about the salvation of others.” This coldness comes from a very languid charity. Let us kindle and revive our charity, and it will inflame us with zeal for the salvation of souls. Then our apostolate will no longer be merely a duty which is imposed from without, one which we are obliged to attend to because of the obligation of our state in life, but it will be an exigency of love, an interior flame of charity which burns spontaneously.
Devoting ourselves to the spiritual life does not mean shutting ourselves up in an ivory tower to enjoy God's consolations undisturbed, with no concern for the welfare of others. It means concentrating all our powers on seeking God, working for our own sanctification in order to please God, and thus acquiring a power of action and impetration capable of obtaining the salvation of many souls.