Work as if everything depends on you, pray as if everything depends on God. Attributed St. Ignatius though we are not sure he said it.
I received an interesting phone call from a friend whom I thought had long vanished into memory from my life. This person was seeing the direction of the society and the challenges we all face and was a bit sad. This person asked me if they could come with me and do my charitable work with my friends. They had done so before but had long since faded away. I was surprised by the phone call but gladly accepted the offer to help. It was a beautiful sign for me. I asked my friends in the community to which I belong to, and they supported me wholeheartedly. They reminded me that Beauty starts from a friendship. It so important to remember this. Otherwise, we reduce beauty to a project.
“Let go of your plans. The first hour of your morning belongs to God. Tackle the day’s work that He charges you with, and He will give you the power to accomplish it. Edith Stein.
How often do I get up in the morning and remind myself of the many things I must do each day? I jump around thinking my life is so important and I am the one who will change the world. Not a chance! The agendas and schedules we keep on our phones or written are not important. What is important is following Christ. I need to be reminded each moment that my life is not in my hands. Recently, I had to deal with a difficulty at work. It was a tough situation and I only saw the light at the end of the tunnel through the eyes of my circle of trust. My friends really do care about me.
“It is your Church, Lord. I am going to bed.” Pope John XIII
I live in another city away from my parents. I try to get there very often to stay with them. But I am reminded again that I am not the one to save them. As they get older, I can only be present and witness to the greatness I have met in Christ. A year or two ago, I attended an event at the Armenian Catholic Church in my city. I accompanied a group of Italians who went to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the “San Lazzaro degli Armeni,” or St. Lazarus of the Armenians. It is a monastery on an island in the Venetian Lagoon. Founded by an Armenian Catholic monk, it seemed like an interesting story. It had become a centre of learning for the Armenians. There is much more to the story that I need to learn. However, I was so astounded at the history behind this out of the way place that when I visited Padua and Venice later that year, I asked my friends to take me there. It was quite an adventure. However, more than the richness of the history was the beauty that Christ had brought this place to its fruition and not someone’s plan.
“Cast yourself into the arms of God and be very sure that if he wants anything of you, he will fit you for the work and give you strength.” St Philip Neri
To whom else shall we go? There is no one else but Christ. As I come close to Lent, I want to reflect more and more as to what else I can do for the Lord because he has been so good to me. Giving up, sacrifice, and prayer are very much part of Lent. But I still want more and to grow more closely to Him. This is not something I do just for 40 days, but each day every day of the year. It is frightening sometimes to watch the world around us. But we cannot lose heart – never! Because there He is waiting for us always. I asked my friends in the Carmel cloister for clarity about the events that happen around me. I look for examples of people who are witnesses for me so that I might have people to follow. I can be sure that my rock is Christ.
From the Maxims on Love by St. John of the Cross, number 75. It says, “Strive to preserve your heart in peace and let no event of this world disturb it. Reflect that all must come to an end.”