I invite you to reflect on the topic of SERVICE, WORTHINESS and DISCERNMENT. And to do so using the words of St John Henry Newman as our guide.
“God has created me to do Him some definite service.”
As we go on the journey of life may we know that we are all called to serve others in love. Service of others is not easy. It is, however, a core element of the Christian life to which all of us are called. Let us pray then that we who are called may grow into a ministry of service for all in God’s name and in whatever way God calls us to serve.
“I shall do good; I shall do His work.”
We impact on people in so many different ways through how we speak to or about them, how we treat them with kindness or, indeed, how we can injure them with hurtful actions. We must be in communion with each other as a community of God’s people- lay, clergy and those in consecrated religious life. We must also strive to reach out to those who are outside of our communities presently for whatever the reason and to show them the great love that God has for each of us. May we speak and act out of love and kindness to all God’s people, seeking to build people up and by so doing to build up our communities.
“He has not created me for naught.”
What a statement this is if we truly reflect on it! The creator of everything, the very architect of life has created me- as Emeritus Pope Benedict said, ‘each of us is the result of a thought of God’. Not only that, but he has not created me for nothing. Yet so many feel like they are in fact nothing, that they are worthless. ‘How could God call me or want me?’ we often ask. ‘I am not worthy’. When this keeps us back from realising God’s dream for us, we can call this, as Fr Richard Rohr says, the ‘worthiness game’. And those of us who play it are in good company with Jacob, John the Baptist, the Centurion whose words we still use prior to communion- Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof. Our lack of worthiness in the face of the Almighty is not meant to stall us or to hold back God’s will in our lives- how could that be so? And therefore we see the Centurion’s servant was healed after all. We cannot be worthy of God’s love- yet God gives it anyhow. God has indeed created each one of us out of love for us and has created us for something- something good, something awesome. May we realise what it is to be created and loved by the Architect of Life.
“I have my mission.”
Each of us has a distinct purpose in life, without which God’s plan would not be complete. We are indeed the link in the chain, the bond of connection that Newman speaks of. How do we tap into this mission? How do we know what it is? We are called to discernment- to praying that we may see the will of God and act accordingly. By using prayerful discernment, we acknowledge that God is at work in our lives at all times, especially when making important decisions. Prayerful discernment helps people to free their minds from vested interests and distractions, focusing on the needs of God’s people at this particular time and place, and the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us. And so as we go onward let us pray that we may discern God’s call in our lives at this time.
If you are interested in taking your discernment further, click here