St. Paul wished to make himself all to all. Father Chevrier wanted to be a man consumed. I must be at the disposition of all, to give pleasure to all.
"Never seek your own will, but that of others," counseled Our Lord to St. Catherine of Genoa. I must work to advance as far as possible in the service of fraternal charity.
But what will become of my time? Assuredly it is a great sacrifice to be continually disturbed, constantly at the beck and call of others. I will try to manage by avoiding a loss of time through idleness or useless talking. Would it not be a pity to refuse a service to someone under pretext of many absorbing occupations, only to catch myself an hour or so later shamelessly wasting precious minutes in useless reading or ridiculous gossiping?
Besides, is there any moment more precious than that employed in giving pleasure? I should have stored my own mind a little more richly had they left me alone. Beautiful misfortune! I have now enriched my heart by willingness to be disturbed, to be employed for others and by others.
They will take advantage of me? All the same! Should I not gain by this abnegation, absolute liberty of soul? Can that be too dearly bought?
Let disturbance continue! I will accept it always with a smile!
"You are not disturbing me." "I am happy to help you." "Whenever you wish." I will not only express this in words but from the depths of my heart. "Dispossessed for the public welfare," as Marie Antoinette de Geuser used to say. Here is my ideal, my program.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)