A small excerpt from the book Show me the Way: Daily Lenten Readings by Henri J.M. Nouwen that really spoke to me. Emphasis added. I hope you enjoy.
“The converted person does not say that nothing matters any more, but that everything that IS happens in God and that God is the dwelling place where we come to know the true order of things. Instead of saying: ‘Nothing matters any more, since I know that God exists,’ the converted person says: ‘All is now clothed in divine light and therefore nothing can be unimportant.’ Converted persons see, hear, and understand with a divine eye, a divine ear, a divine heart. Converted persons know themselves and all the world in God. Converted persons are where God is, and from that place everything matters: giving water, clothing the naked, working for a new world order, saying a prayer, smiling at a child, reading a book, and sleeping in peace.
All has become different while all remains the same.”
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I’ve been reading “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.” Yes, I’ve been reading it for awhile. It’s not that I am a slow reader, it’s just that when I find a few minutes here and there to sit down and read, it’s just that – a FEW minutes. Anyways, I am, finally, nearing the end of the book (I plan to finish it before Lent is over!).
Yesterday, as I was reading about working, resting, service, etc., I came across an interesting passage from St. Ignatius. He was speaking to a group of young Jesuits who were so exuberant about their new found desire to serve the Church that they were trying to “out-do” each other with ridiculous religious practices. Ignatius had this to say:
“Let your service be a reasonable service. First…God is not really served in the long run, as the horse worn out in the first days does not as a rule finish the journey…Second, gains that are made with this excessive eagerness are not usually kept…Third, there is the danger of being careless about overloading the vessel. There is danger, of course, in sailing it empty, as it can then be tossed about…But, there is also danger of so overloading it as to cause it to sink.”