The Friday Thought - Time to give a little of ourselves

During the week we celebrated the feast day of Saint Teresa of Avila. She was born in sixteenth century Spain and at a young age joined the Carmelite Order.

Saint Teresa grounded through a life of great prayerfulness and possessing spiritual insight and wisdom help to organise a reform of the Carmelite Order.

Through her strength, courage and determined personality she wasn’t afraid to highlight and tackle the many problems which affected the religious life of her time. St Teresa wasn’t concerned with power, honour, position or prestige.

What marked her out as a great saint who was later to be venerated as a Doctor of the Church was her total commitment to the person of Jesus Christ. Everything in this world paled into insignificance, for true wisdom was learning to entrust oneself to God, handing all that we are over to the creator of the universe. At the heart of this vision was humble acceptance and obedience to God’s word.

As one commentator stated, St Teresa was able to see Jesus for who he was; not only what she wanted Jesus to be. This outlook in life is a challenge placed before all of us gathered under the banner of being called Christian.

On a weekend when we celebrate Mission Sunday we pray for the wisdom and courage to enter into the great mystery of trying to discern and understand God’s will for each and every one of us.

Often in prayer we come before God with a list of demands and petitions, today we ask for the humility, insight and obedient to open our lives up to what God truly wants and asks of each person called to be a child of God.

Ultimately we ask for the gifts which will enable all men and women to follow the example of Jesus who came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.

Every day we are faced with encounters when were asked to give a little of ourselves, to surrender some of our freedoms, privileges and rights in order to respond to the needs and concerns of others.

On many occasions the people who inspire and challenge us the most are those who have given up everything to follow and pursue what they believe to be right and just.

We are also provoked into reassessing our lives and our attitudes by those men and women who in the light of great hardship or suffering still have to generosity to reach out and tend to the needs and hurts of others.

Throughout the centuries and the generations there have been countless men and women who have taken seriously the gospel message and travelled to the ends of the world to make Christ known.

In our time, in our place what is the message we proclaim by our lives, who is the Christ we make known by what we say and what we do.

Do we allow God to shape us according to our will or do we shape God according to our will. We are all equal in the eyes of God, as brothers and sisters in Christ we’re asked to serve and help each other.

We pray for the strength to resist the temptation to demean or to look down on others.

Saint Teresa of Avila many centuries ago wrote this poem as a reflection on her relationship with God.

In the Hands of God

If you want me to rest,

I desire it for love;

If to labour,

I will die working:

Sweet love say

Where, how, when.

What do you want of me?

Calvary or Tabor give me,

Desert for fruitful land,

As Job in suffering

Or John at your breast;

Barren or fruitful vine,

Whatever be your will;

What do you want of me?

Be I Joseph chained

Or as Egypt’s governor,

David pained

Or exalted on high,

Jonas drowned,

Or Jonas freed;

What do you want of me?

Silent or speaking,

Fruit bearing or barren,

My wounds shown by the law,

Rejoicing in the tender gospel;

Sorrowing or exalting,

You alone live in me:

What do you want of me?

Yours I am, for you I was born:

What do you want of me?