Monday, May 15, 2017

finding our place

Today in A Year with the Church Fathers, we hear from St Clement. He tells us about the same kind of thing that Paul tells us regarding being part of Christ's body. That the hand is as important as the head, and even the smallest parts have a function that the body really needs.

It's easy to be discouraged when you see someone who really excels at things, right? When someone you know is just really terrific at everything, it can make you get down on yourself. But God has called each of us to a task, and if we don't do what He called us to, we all suffer. He can give us great joy in doing those tasks, no matter how menial, if we let Him. He's good at giving us desire and joy in doing His work. It's a good idea to pray on a regular basis that He will give us the desire to do the things that He is calling us to. That way, we just do what we WANT to do, and it turns out to be what He wants us to do.

Of course, we want to make sure that what we want to do lines up with His desires in the world in general. It's pretty safe to say that if what you want to do is one of the corporal or spiritual acts of mercy, then it's what He's calling you to do. The corporal acts are: give food and water to the hungry and thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, visit the sick and those in prison, and bury the dead. The spiritual acts are: instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, bear with those who wrong us, forgive offenses, console the afflicted, and pray for the living and the dead.

If you feel a desire to do one of those things, you should do it. That's God calling you to do His work. If you don't feel a desire to do any of them, then ask Him to give you that desire. The great follower of Jesus and social worker Dorothy Day said that everything we do all day long should be working toward one of those acts of mercy. That's probably a good ideal to strive for, even if we never quite get there (I guess feeding the hungry does include ourselves, come to think of it.)

But in all of these things, remember the advice of both Therese of Liseux and Mother Teresa, both of whom said that it matters less WHAT we do, as much as it matters that we do it with great love.

God, please help us want to do Your will.