Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The “Prayer of Abandonment”
by Blessed Charles de Foucauld

I abandon myself into Your hands,
Do with me what you will
Whatever you may do,
I thank you.
I am ready for all,
I accept all.
Let only Your Will be done in me,
and in all your creatures,
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul
I offer it to you,
With all the love of my heart,
For I love you,
And so need to love you,
To give myself,
To surrender myself into your hands
Without reserve,
And with boundless confidence,
For You are my Father.

dreams and visions

I remember my childhood and how it was so easy to fall into dreams. Dreams of what I wanted to be when I grew up. Perhaps, it was easier then because I was still young. My dreams remained just dreams. The task and the challenge is when you are older and you have to DO something to make those dreams a reality.

And even then, when you make your mind up about pursuing those dreams, you find that Life is not going to make it easy for you. People, circumstances, your own attitudes and emotions, play the obstacle to your goals. How sad! And from there, it's either of two things: you pursue your goal and get around or over the obstacles come what may or you confine yourself to lethargy and the laziness that most often creeps into the mind and the heart of those whose dreams have been thwarted.

See, the problem lies not in the external things, it's what is in you that counts. We start out zealously enthusiastic, ready to conquer the world with our dreams and visions! But when the days pass by and things become routine, we find that our spirit becomes dull and we feel bound to a world that is at once dreary and ordinary.

And yet, this is the lot of man. And we must, at all counts, become successes. No matter that you work at a fastfood chain, cleaning up after satisfied bellies, or that you sit in an office all day, crunching numbers in your computer. The important thing is, we must do what we do in a way that only saints can. With LOVE!

 Love must surround us, must flow through our hands, our eyes, our bodies as we work. Only with love can work become sublime, and a lot less ordinary. And when we work with love, we pray unceasingly. Because anything that is done with love is a song of praise to God who made our bodies for work and leisure at the same time.

I tried this experiment before. Whenever I feel low and bored with my work, I tell myself that this is an opportunity to work with love. I take a deep breath, smile and offer what I do to God. And things that once were so irritating and complex seemed easier and simpler to handle. Patience comes and settles in. I try to shift my eyes and in looking at the people I work with, instead of seeing ordinary men, I see the face of Christ masked in the poverty of the human form. They seem to change in front of me. Whereas they sometimes become disagreeable to me, they change! They smile more often in my presence, strike up a casual conversation, laugh with me..and what seemed to me to be a drab and ordinary existence becomes a sublime experience of the goodness that is in each of us. And the casual conversation, the occasions of laughter among co-workers become for me an opportunity to become like Christ, a brother to all. And I give them the opportunity to become like Christ for me too, for then I see that they are my brothers.

Dreams and visions of what the future holds are fine. But the courage to make the most of what you are, where you are, and what you are doing in the present is more important. Becoming a saint does not necessarily mean leaving your life for an ascetic existence, praying to God in a cave where you see only the city below, and the sky above you..eating a poor diet of herbs and game, sleeping alone in wild surroundings. No. Not always. Ordinary circumstances and an ordinary life is also a field where saints are harvested. And maybe what we need is not a change of vocation, but an enthusiasm for our vocation.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

the desire to be poor

I have this desire to be poor. To be poor in the name of Christ. How wonderful it would be not to worry about tomorrow, but to love each moment of the day because God gave it. I believe that the poor of this world do not know the great gift they are given. If only they would feel content.

When you are rich you run the risk of feeling one very subtle disease -- insecurity. And when you are insecure, you fail to become what you were meant to become. I wish I was poor. Not poor in the accidental way, or because I was born in a poor family. I want to be poor voluntarily. To imitate our Lord who was poor, simple, humble.

 I want to cultivate this poverty of spirit that sometimes goes away, when the lure of the world, and the glitter of wealth catches the eye. But I want it forged in the heart of Christ. So when I am beset by the trials of life, I might in joy say, "Here I have found my place and lot in the world, to be despised, humbled, and weakened. That I may know my true place in the world as one who owns nothing, controls nothing. And that I can give everything because I possess all that my God possesses."