November 15, 2011

The world is in a terrible state, isn’t it?  It seems everywhere we look there is crisis or decline. It can be very tempting to give up hope at times, and think that the victory we have been assured of, is strictly metaphorical – or at the very least will only be manifested in heaven but here on earth we must simply endure.

Faith, hope, and love.

Every now and then we hear a story that wakes us out of the doldrums.  One I heard recently was of a woman, Marie, in Belgium, a wife and mother of three, who helps the Missionaries of Charity every year in the Congo. She goes for a month at a time or so, depending on her family’s circumstances, sometimes more than once a year. She has worked to help young mothers and children, often finding homes for orphaned babies – one of whom she adopted into her own family.  Her whole family is part of her offering, as they sacrifice her presence while she serves the poorest of the poor in her homeland.  From what she has, she has given much.

Isn’t that beautiful? Don’t fret, thinking that you could not possibly drop everything and volunteer in the Congo for a month. Marie is able to do it, because her family is able to support her work; she gives from what she has received.

We’ve heard a lot about gifts and talents in the last few weeks.  It can be humbling to discover what it is that you, individually, are able to do, and then it can be daunting to try to figure out how to invest that talent in God’s Kingdom.  Eternity sounds a long way off, and right now is packed with enough duties and responsibilities to keep three personal assistants run off their feet, right?

It all comes down to love.  Whatever it is that God has given you, whatever your gift, vocation, personality, circumstances, the answer is love.  Marie gives of her love, and it in turn creates more love.  My heart expanded when I heard her story.  It also gave me hope to know that there is still such generosity, such faith in the world, despite what the headlines tell us.

We all have love to give, but the method of delivery is unique: as a mom, an artist, receptionist, therapist, cantor, Sunday school instructor, soup kitchen volunteer.

With the holy season of Advent fast approaching, this is a good time to pray about faith, hope, and love. I will pray to have faith no matter how things are looking in the here and now; faith that God is with me, His plan is still on track, and faith that plan includes me using my gifts for the good of all.  I will pray to be a sign of hope in these troubled times by not giving in to hopelessness, by being cheerful and generous with what I have to give.  I will pray for a greater capacity for love – receiving and giving.

Invite the Christ Child into your heart this Advent. Ask Him to point out what your treasure is, and how you can share it. And may what you give be returned to you a hundred fold.

1 comment:

  1. Found you on Assoc. Of Cath. Women Bloggers and had to stop by to say hello.

    Maybe its just my nature, but while I agree there is crisis I can not adhere to the world is going to heck in a hand basket and I love that God calls us to the mission of His Son in ways we can manage.

    Great blog, great post!



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