Monday, September 17, 2007

What have I got for God?

During an excellent explanation of Mother Teresa's spiritual Calvary David Warren quoted John Henry Cardinal Newman:

If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him. In perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. ... He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.”

In my season of overwork (I hate summer: prickly heat, humidity and budgets), I sometimes look up at the crucifix before Mass begins and mentally empty out my pockets and purse. I have the nice thing I did for a neighbor, or a patience displayed with a gabby old relative, or even an act of humility when I didn't tell somebody I'd heard their joke before, but I more often have tension, exhaustion, mental dust bunnies, unresolved conflict at work, undone responsibilities.

Gotta offer it all up, a dusty wilted stale-smelling spiritual bouquet. Remember those? I found one I wrote out for my mother in a prayer book: One Our Father, One Hail Mary, One Glory Be and Playing With My Little Brother So My Mother Could Rest. Were that it was still so simple.


kc bob said...

I was enjoying the quote until I got to:

"He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink"

The beauty of Romans 8:28 is that God causes all things to work together for our good even though He doesn't cause all things. That said, it is a beautiful thing that God can use the all things (even the work of the devil and our own sin) to make us like Jesus.

Peace, KB

Therese Z said...

It's our own personal cross. And the tricky part is not looking at our sins as our cross, nor the effects of our sins as our cross (
THAT's my specialty). Our cross becomes clearer in its outlines when we more often and more deeply wait on God's Will, and then the effects of that waiting are truly our cross. Because Jesus accepted His Cross from the Father, not from the anger of the crowds, or the injustice of the Roman court.

Roz said...

"Still, He knows what He is about."

I find myself awestruck by this. Just like Cardinal Newman to be short, sweet and to the point.

Yes, he knows what he is about, in the sense of competence. "The engineer of the locomotive knows how to work the machinery to get me safely to where I'm going."

But he also knows what he's about, what his true nature is -- what makes him tick, so to speak:

"In him there is no darkness at all. (1Jn 1:5)

"Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands." (Is 49:15)

"He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out." Jn 10:2

"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (Rev 21:4)

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. " (Lam 3:22)

True. Unperceived, sometimes, yet true. Thanks, God.



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