Lent 2013, XXVII

XXVII. So I am trying to apply Mother Teresa’s principle to
my own life, and I am beginning to see that it is at once intensely practical,
and at the same time profoundly spiritual. It is based on trust in God, and
compatible not only with the sense of personal smallness and brokenness that
was a mark of Mother Teresa’s spiritual life, but also with a powerful
realization of the dignity inherent in me as a child of God. To put a concrete
set of circumstances to an abstract principle, I like to go to daily Mass. When
I am in the states, work permitting I go to Mass every day, and sometimes make
a visit to the Blessed Sacrament as well. These are not merely good things, but
holy things. They are a partaking in the source and summit of redeemed human
life on earth, so at first glance it would seem that they should be my top
priority and anything that prevents me from going to Mass should be eliminated
from my life. However, looking at it through the lens of Mother Teresa’s
humility and trust, I find a new way of looking at it. When I am deployed I am
very often unable to get to Mass, even on Sundays. In Afghanistan I went three
months one time without ever seeing a priest. If I were to follow my logic
about Mass being the highest priority I would have to get out of the Army,
(which I plan on doing anyway, but that’s beside the point) so that I would
never have to miss Mass again. But following Mother Teresa’s dictum of
sanctification within my state-in-life I am forced to acknowledge that I don’t
really know what I need. Mass and Adoration are great goods. In fact they are
the highest goods in this life, or in the next even. But God has placed me
here, where I am, and not there. What I do in the Chapel is objectively higher
than what I do on mission, but God has placed me on mission, not in the Chapel.
Trust in Him entails humbly accepting that spiritual privation and looking for
the path to sanctity hidden at my feet.

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