Friday, August 12, 2011

Simple obedience...

Tertiaries recognise the power of intercessory prayer for furthering the purposes of God’s kingdom, and therefore seek a deepening fellowship with God in personal devotion, and constantly intercede for the needs of his church and his world. Those of us who have much time at our disposal give prayer a large part in our daily lives. Those of us with less time must not fail to see the importance of prayer and to guard the time we have allotted to it from interruption. Lastly, we are encouraged to avail ourselves of the sacrament of Reconciliation, through which the burden of past sin and failure is lifted and peace and hope restored.

The Principles of the Third Order - The Third Way of Service, Prayer
It's strange how much more clearly this has been coming to speak to me over recent months, and how strongly I've been convicted of my own failure to live by it. Remarkable, too, how easy it is to find excuses for filling that "much time" that I have at my disposal with other things than prayer.

Temptation always sells us so short. God has more to give us than we can possibly ask imagine, and yet we allow ourselves to be led away by the least alternative. Well, I do. And yet I find that even what little obedience I manage to give to God's call to prayer as my chief calling is rewarded so generously that I haven't the tears to acknowledge it.

On this day after St. Clare's Day, I keep remembering these word's from Clare's Testament: "I bless you during my life and after my death, as I am able, out of all the blessings, with which the Father of mercies has blessed and will bless His sons and daughters in heaven and on earth and a spiritual father and mother have blessed and will bless their spiritual sons and daughters. Amen."

God has so blessed me over these last months, with blessings I couldn't have imagined, or dreamt up for myself. He is faithful beyond our understanding, and we know so little of gratitude. And so we have Christ's mercy beneath us as a cupped hand, and our Lady's simple obedience as our light, our Stella Maris: "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word..." How hard that is for us, sinners that we are, and yet how necessary. It's strange, but I sometimes actually find myself these days longing for that simple obedience, as Francis and Clare did...

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