Thursday, 20 October 2011

Much is Expected

I have to continually remind myself to take stock of the many graces that I receive from God all of the time. It is far too easy to simply take life for granted and give no further thought to the many events in my life. Some of the graces, which I receive, easily become evident through relatively little thought. Some become evident to me only in hindsight, often after or during time spent in prayer.

There are however, I am sure, also countless more graces of which I have absolutely no idea whatsoever. I am certain that one day, when I die and God reveals to me the many graces I have received from him during this lifetime, I am going to be astounded. I don’t think that many of us can even begin to comprehend the extent to which God is helping us through every moment of this life.

Even though I may be unaware of the graces that I am receiving, it remains important that I try to be constantly aware, throughout each day, that God is giving me the grace that I may need at any given moment in that day. I am never alone and God never drops me into a scenario without giving me what I need to cope and to be a tiny reflection of our Lord Jesus in that scenario.

"All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity." All are called to holiness: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ's gift, so that . . . doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbour. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints.[1]

Yesterday’s Gospel reading reminded me that it is so important for me to be constantly aware of God’s grace and to take courage from this knowledge so that I do fulfil my mission here on earth. Failure to remain aware of God’s constant help and to make full use of the graces he gives me, known and unknown, will leave me in the same position as the servant who receives many lashes.

The servant who knows what his master wants, but has not even started to carry out those wishes, will receive very many strokes of the lash. The one who did not know, but deserves to be beaten for what he has done, will receive fewer strokes. When a man has had a great deal given him, a great deal will be demanded of him; when a man has had a great deal given him on trust, even more will be expected of him.[2]

I am certain that God has given me enough knowledge, through the teaching of the Church, to make me sufficiently aware of his constant help. I will not therefore, thanks to the Church, be able to claim that I was a servant who did not know. I, like most Catholics, have “had a great deal given him [me] on trust,” and therefore “even more will be expected of him [me].

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