Sunday, November 11, 2007

Meditation for November 12, The Gift of Self

Great courage is necessary to leave the world and to give one­self entirely to God in the religious life.

I ought to thank God, my Savior, for having given me this courage.

But once in the religious life, there is another step to make; in the novitiate one feels animated by a very great fervor. Then years are added to years, and if the soul is not vigilant, it becomes contented with mediocrity. Oh, exteriorly everything seems all right; the religious disedifies no one; is always at work; and causes no trouble to the superiors. But God demands more and the soul resists the absolute gift of self.

At times there is even a reclaiming of the gift; some real taking back, negligences consented to in prayer; curiosities unduly satis­fied, comforts granted with only half good faith, and other similar weaknesses.

A Breton Jesuit of the seventeenth century, Father Rigoleuc, en­couraged himself to take the definitive step, to cut all bonds, to profit by his third year, with the following thoughts:
"Will you always be unable to overcome yourself? Once for all give yourself completely to God. For such a long time He has in­spired you with the plan for it and offered you the necessary grace without your yielding to His loving pursuits. Perhaps this is your last chance; you may never have another occasion like this to tes­tify your zeal for His glory, and the desire you have for perfection. The time is short."

I, too, must examine myself. Do I live in the constant habit of a total gift of self? For what am I waiting to sacrifice my last reserves? The time is short. The present invitation is perhaps the last for me.
Adapted from Meditations for Religious
by Father Raoul Plus, S.J. (© 1939, Frederick Pustet Co.)

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