There is something to be said for doing one’s duty. We tend to think that if we can choose to do what we want to do, we will be free and have a sense of fulfilment – that can happen. Conversely, we tend to think that when we have to do something we don’t like, we will not only feel put upon but be diminished as persons – not necessarily.
In fact, if we accept what has to be done with grace and get on with it, it can be quite a liberating experience. We are freed from the tyranny of our own likes and dislikes, freed from having to make all the decisions, freed from ourselves to get on with the task at hand. This situation happens so frequently in family life: walking the floor at night with a sick child, doing the rounds of the doctors with an elderly parent, being patient when the orange juice is spilt – you can think of a dozen instances in each day. It is in these situations that we experience one of the central teachings of our Christian faith: dying to self leads to life.
In the Gospels Jesus teaches that we have to die to ourselves to rise to the fullness of life. In his own life he showed how it was done. Now he has promised us his Spirit to strengthen and guide us. When we feel challenged, we can pray for this Spirit to come and help us transform that difficult situation into a place of grace and love.
Loving God, we often feel overwhelmed by the challenges of life, as though they are killing our spirit. Send us the Spirit of Jesus to guide us through the difficult and dark moments of our lives that we may bring the love of Jesus into our families and communities. We ask this in his name confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb