Reflections on loving God, being Catholic, being a woman, being ill, loving life and anything else that comes to mind.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Work of Charity In Our World

Since I'm home most mornings (I try to plan drs' appts, errands, etc. later in the day), I've been reading the short form of morning prayer from Magnificat. This morning I was struck by the words:

"As we leave the work of prayer for the work of charity in our world..."

The work of charity in our world often seems to be a job - something beyond the stregth of the busy, the ill, the average person. We imagine such works will always be difficult employment. We forget that the smallest tasks are the most difficult to do, the easiest to ignore or discount. But the work of charity in our world actually consists in hundreds of ordinary gestures such as reigning in our tempers, helping a sick friend with laundry, flirting with a baby, showing a bit of cheerfulness, helping an over-loaded mother onto the bus, being appropriately outraged when a bus driver zooms off while a frail person is still trying to climb the steps, even just saying "Excuse me" instead of fuming because someone is blocking the path. Those tiny gestures always expose us to other people as Jesus exposed himself on the Cross even if they cause no physical or emotional pain. They simply take us outside ourselves, outside the private shells we erect when we leave for the day and make us more like Christ. They're never beyond the strength of the weakest nor do they prevent us from fulfilling our real jobs.

God is so kind. He has made each moment full of opportunities to love others as He loves us. He has not made love too dificult for anyone: the cross is always bespoke, custom fit. It's the accessory that no man or woman should ever be without.


Dawn Eden said...

What a beautiful observation. Thank you for this!

Lector Perturbatus said...


Melanie B said...

It's the accessory that no man or woman should ever be without.


Pia said...

Loved this post. We've been pondering much on charity around the blogs I normally frequent. This sums up all our discourse in a nutshell.