August 8, 2013
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal. 6:2)
When participating in Sunday Snippets this past week, I came across Michael’s post at “To Love and Truth” titled Listening to God’s Soft Whisper. One great thing about the Catholic blogging world is the opportunity to participate in spiritual observations of others, and this post really made me think. The post began:
We often thank God for sending a particular person into our life. God blessed us through that person. It is easy to see God’s action in those He sends into our life in response to our prayer. It is more difficult to be the person who God sends in response to someone else’s prayer. [My emphasis.]
I am often very conscious of my own needs, aware of the constant pressure points against body, mind, and soul, preoccupied with my own problems, worries, hopes, etc. Sometimes this can cause me to close off others, to be blind to their needs. Yet Jesus expects us to bear one another’s burdens, and in fact not to be anxious over what we shall eat or wear, or anything else because our Father takes care of all our needs (Matt. 6:25-32).
Forgetting of self to be present to others implies being open to God’s call to be the person He sends to someone else in need. If we are to be God’s gift to someone else, we must constantly be corresponding with His grace to grow in the direction He wills, a scary thought when you come right down to it. We all know how fragile and imperfect we are if we’re honest with ourselves, and how we neglect to follow the inspirations of the Holy Spirit in us.
To be a gift to others means that we must be constantly growing in virtue because, as Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalene writes in #267 of Divine Intimacy,
Bearing one another’s burdens also means enduring the faults of others calmly and kindly. [How often are our sins and faults the cause of our burdens? Don’t we regularly shoot ourselves in the foot and thus need someone else’s help? We want others to bear with us calmly, patiently, and kindly. We must be prepared to do the same to our neighbor.]
Charity always believes in the good will of others, even though it may be accompanied by faults; it always hopes in the good which it knows how to discover in every creature, although it may be eclipsed by many deficiencies. What is more important, charity supports everything, never finding any burden too heavy….Charity feels that it must stoop with love to take up the burdens of others, particularly those burdens which all avoid because they are troublesome.
We must not shy away from God’s call to be His gift to someone else through false humility or aversion, or weariness of mind, body, and spirit, but rather embrace it as another opportunity for our sanctification and that of the ones in need. His grace always comes along with the task. The task is always a challenge to trust in Him and stay close to Him, a daily adventure never ending but always fruitful unless we say “no” and walk away.
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