This Child Asks, “God, what can I do to please you?”
Devotional Thought for our days:
4 But even though we were dead in our sins God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, gave us life together with Christ – it is, remember, by grace and not by achievement that you are saved – and has lifted us right out of the old life to take our place with him in Christ in the Heavens. Thus he shows for all time the tremendous generosity of the grace and kindness he has expressed towards us in Christ Jesus. It was nothing you could or did achieve – it was God’s gift to you. No one can pride himself upon earning the love of God. The fact is that what we are we owe to the hand of God upon us. We are born afresh in Christ, and born to do those good deeds which God planned for us to do. Ephesians 2:4 (Phillips NT)
195 Just now, Jesus, when I was considering my wretchedness, I said to you: Allow yourself to be taken in by this son of yours, just like those good fathers, full of kindness, who put into the hands of their little children the presents they want to receive from them… knowing perfectly well that little children have nothing of their own. And what merriment of father and son, even though they are both in on the secret!
St. Josemaria’s words give a definition to my greatest fear in life. That because of my wretchedness, because of who I perceive myself to be, I will never, ever do anything for God that pleases Him.
It just won’t happen, despite a desire to do it, despite an attempt to dedicate my life to serve Him, and led people to Him. There are days when it seems to happen, but those days are far apart, and seem more like an accident than anything I really do.
The challenge is in getting my mind off of my wretchedness, and see what God is doing around me. It’s not easy to do at times, as my own failures and wretchedness dominate my landscape. The sins that seem so obvious, and even the things I strive to do like my sermons, seem to fall so short, so often failing to show people what they need to know, the presence of God in their lives.
But it is that very presence I need to see, as God works through us, His hand masterfully, artfully guiding us, doing the work He planned for us to accomplish.
It is only by seeing His presence, by resting safely in His arms, that I can see this. It is only by relenting, and meditating on His love, that this assurance, this peace, can comfort a soul that is not as wretched as it thinks.
I know God does work through me, like the Father who helps the child create the gift to be given back to the Father. Or the Father who makes the gift the son brings truly become something special. What I need to do is let this amazing, wonderful truth sink deeply into my heart and soul, creating a joy that is described as unspeakable by the Apostle Peter.
I would imagine that I am not the only one….. so let us pray for each other!
Lord, Have mercy on us, and give us the ability to know this joy, to know that the Spirit works through us, doing what is pleasing to the Father! AMEN!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Forge (Kindle Locations 876-880). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.