Monday, October 09, 2006

not by bread alone

"This is our vocation: to heal wounds, to bind the broken, to bring home those who are lost." - St. Francis of Assisi

I have been thinking a lot lately about the meaning of friendship and brotherhood, about our role as members of the Body of Christ. I so often find it difficult to get past my own selfishness, my own needs. Yet what would the hand do if it didn't ensure that the mouth was fed? What would the foot do if it didn't carry the body to a place where it could rest? It may at first seem better to look out for itself, but it would soon find that its own needs cannot be met unless it first looks out for the needs of others.

We live in a society that says we must first feed ourselves before looking to the needs of others. To put aside my own desires for the sake of others isn't something I can do on my own, but I can make small efforts, and I pray that those small efforts will be multiplied. The words of a Sara Groves song keep going through my head: "When fear engulfs your mind, says you protect your own, you still extend your hand, you open up your home... That's a little stone, that's a little mortar. That's a little seed, that's a little water in the hearts of the sons and daughters, this kigdom's coming."

In the little things, may I learn to give up my own will, so that I will be sustained not by what I give to myself, but by the workings of grace in my life, that with Christ I may say, "My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work."

Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

1 comment:

timmus said...

my elinor,
learn that song on guitar. if you haven't i will play it for you upon your return.
i love you,