“Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:10
Ears to hear
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Ever since I was little, I have been fascinated by the idea that God calls each of us to do His Will in a particular way. I believed it was the only way to happiness, to do what He wanted. But how do you know what that is?
Some hear an actual voice, like Samuel, but most of us must learn to have a listening and open heart.
My problem is, I’m not sure I can accept playing the small part God is asking of me. It’s just like when I was little and my dad was trying to fix a cabinet.
“Can I help?” I asked.
“You know what would really help? “ He turned to me, knowing it would be a disappointment. “Go make the younger kids lunch.”
I left, frustrated. This wasn’t fun. This was doing the boring thing so he could have fun.
I see now that I didn’t really want to help. I wanted to do what I wanted to do, and act as though it were love. I was interested in how a hinge worked, not in actually lessening my dad’s burden.
And that’s the way I am today, but not so much with my dad; with God. In most cases, Love conquers, and I do the little, truly helpful thing. But… Is He asking that of me forever? Can I accept that?
I have to remind myself of that bad inclination of my early years and fight it. Do all things in love.
St. Francis of Assisi’s prayer emphasizes that we are instruments of God’s beautiful plan. It is not for us to do the great things. It is for God to do those things through our littleness.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace!
That where there is hatred, I may bring love.
That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness.
That where there is discord, I may bring harmony.
That where there is error, I may bring truth.
That where there is doubt, I may bring faith.
That where there is despair, I may bring hope.
That where there are shadows, I may bring light.
That where there is sadness, I may bring joy.
Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted.
To understand, than to be understood.
To love, than to be loved.
For it is by self-forgetting that one finds.
It is by forgiving that one is forgiven.
It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.
Though the things Francis prays for here are accomplished in very small ways, their true beauty is beyond words. How wonderful if we all made this our prayer! It all begins with Peace. For now, I will be content to practice.