Devotional thought of the Day:
You saw it quite clearly: while so many people do not know God, he has looked to you. He wants you to form a foundation stone, an ashlar, on which the life of the Church can rest. Meditate on this reality and you will draw many practical consequences for your ordinary behaviour: the foundation stone—hidden and possibly rather dull—has to be solid, showing no weakness. It has to serve as a support for the building… If not, it remains isolated.(1)
It sometimes seems like the world is darker than it has been in a century, that immorality and unethical behavior are now the norm for life, It perhaps isn’t, for the time when St. Josemaria ministered in Spain had its times, as of course did the Vietnam Era. Yet when you look at Southern California, and the amount of people in churches, one begins to wonder how few people truly know and rejoice in the love and presence of God.
There is a tendency to bemoan our condition, to think that we have been defeated, that our generation will see more and more churches close, as our part of the world sees the light of Christ snuffed out. After all, most of the pastors I know are not incredibly powerful evangelists, most of us are common, ordinary, bland types. We try hard, but we don’t always see the results, in fact we rarely see them.
That is why I like the quote above. For our work isn’t necessarily to be the beautiful marble of huge temples, we are not the beauty of Roman Basilicas, or English Cathedrals. We are the foundations, those who point solidly to Christ, those who have been strengthened and bear the weight, those whose trust in God is revealed in a faithfulness we may not even realize people observe in us. And such lack of self-awareness is not a bad thing – our awareness needs to be focused on the cornerstone. – the one we take our lead and line from.
The people then, that understand we (and I am not just talking about pastors and priests, but about all those using their gifts to serve others) are like the stones that build up the building, the stones that do gather attention, the lives that are radically changed, the ones who are lifted up, the ones who testify of God’s love… because we were used to reveal it to them.
Not doing something spectacular in the faith – that is okay – be faithful in looking to Christ – love Him, adore Him, find yourself, int he midst of that love, loving others… and you will find with that simply done… not just a church being built up around you, but the church being built in the world.
Remember to look and cry… Lord have mercy… and rejoice as that mercy is revealed in your life and others…
(1)Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 1804-1808). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.