Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Priestly Disposition

Many books have been written about finding an appropriate priestly spirituality – But I think we’ll find no better foundation than these words. This is my body! It’s the spirituality of St. Paul who could write: “I am more than glad to spend what I have and to be spent for the sake of your souls”. It is the spirituality of Bl. Mother Teresa who vowing never to refuse God anything lived by the motto: “I willingly take what he gives me and give what he takes from me.” And pre-eminently it is the spirituality of Our Lady who when called to dedicate in the most profound way, her whole being to God’s plan of salvation responded: “Let it be done unto me according to your word.” These are people who, being called by God to a mission of service, responded wholeheartedly, unreservedly; and never took back that initial “Yes”. Their ‘Yes’ was made in light-filled moments, in faith-filled encounters with God. But they had to repeat it daily with the same conviction in darker moments, moments when God seemed more distant.

Now we’re not St. Paul, not Mother Teresa and certainly nothing like the Blessed Virgin. But we are men called by God to service and called to respond with our daily ‘Yes’. The Lord has placed something in us, some strength, some talent, the seed of something great, that we often don’t even know is there, but which he knows about, something he desires to nourish and to use – if we are but willing to say our yes and stick to it.
John Henry Newman speaks about that fidelity to the call when he writes:
God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission – I may never know it in this life but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons. He has not created me for nothing. I shall do good, I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments. Therefore I will trust Him. Whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. 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 does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. 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.

God has called me, he may be calling you. I don't always respond well, how about you?

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