“I can love You more when You condescend to increase my virtue, but I can never give You what You deserve. Give me then, Your most ardent love by which, with Your grace, I shall love You, please You, serve You, and fulfill Your commands.” – Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
Finally, the end of the shift! The day was over, the deeds were done, and all was calm. It was time to punch out and so I gathered my things dismissed myself and headed out of the Hospital wing. My patients were well and content . . . at the moment. But as is customary, I glanced into every room as I walked the hall toward the elevator; just for the sake of confirming that all was well. When I reached the end of the hall, I came to the final room where two women were staying. One was sound asleep while the other sat in her wheelchair beside the open window quietly looking out *Sigh*. All was well? My instinct was to move on and go home because All was well and my deed was done for the day! But my heart was saying, “Jesus is calling.”
Jesus comes to us in distinct ways. Some ways being more strong and clear than others which tend to be more gentle and subtle. If we are not sensitive to our surroundings, his presence can seem almost absent. His invitation to unite us to his presence can be missed or ignored. It is usually in the moments we run through or unconsciously live in, in those routine moments of life where we become senseless and motion filled.
“I know mine and mine know me” says Jesus. He means to say that He recognizes those who recognize Him. Do we recognize him in our lives? Do we? When we pick up that fallen box for our neighbor, or give a ride to a friend, lend a hand around the house, who do we see? who did we make that act of charity for? Jesus? or mere man? Lets look at the world through the eyes of grace! lets take Brother Lawrence’s advice: “Its enough for me to pick up but a straw from the ground for the love of God . . .I began to live as if there were no one save God and me in the world.”
He calls us at every moment of our lives. Jesus wants us for himself even In the midst of the hectic everyday stuff. This call is not reserved for those in the convent, hermitage, cloistered, or monastery. These institutions and communities serve as a beautiful example of what a life of prayer and contemplation may look like, the greatest capacity of union with God is available to them and they are wonderful reminders of our capacity too but His call does not end there. Jesus is calling everyone of us in a very personal way to participate in his love. He yearns for you and me, do we yearn for Him?
Brother Lawrence reminds us that at every moment Jesus draws us and our response should be one of recollection: “above all, get in the habit of often thinking of God and forget Him the least you can.” Let us look at those who are in our everyday lives and be more conscience of their needs and desires, see them through the eyes of faith, Jesus is present and he is in them. Keenly be present to the moment, whatever it may be. He is there and He is calling. Will we respond . . . with love?