Thursday, January 16, 2014

Picking Up Pins

The third time I heard this quote from St. Therese, I took notice.

"I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all other ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul."

I've always agreed that it's powerful to do little things with great love, but I never truly understood it or always practiced it. God seemed so distant, so huge and powerful and remote from me in my little comings and goings. Despite my knowledge to the contrary, I kept looking for God in the glory of thunder and lightning rather than the gentle breezes or tiny inconsequential little flowers. My gratitude journal is helping me change that. It's helping me to reflect on God throughout the day, offering up little prayers of thanks and trust in Jesus. Prayer is becoming integrated in my day. God speaks to me in the details. God truly is found among the pots and pans, if only I seek him there. Too often I don't make an effort to seek him. I let myself feel defeated. I feel as though prayer is futile and that I'm just a sad, lonely person losing hope.

Yesterday I read this in St. Faustina's Diary:
"I desire that you know more profoundly the love that burns in My Heart for souls, and you will understand this when you meditate upon My Passion. Call upon My mercy on behalf of sinners; I desire their salvation. When you say this prayer, with a contrite heart and with faith on behalf of some sinner, I will give him the grace of conversion. This is the prayer: 'O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fount of Mercy for us, I trust in you.'"
 It struck me that this prayer is such a simple thing. This simple prayer in trust to Jesus could have such a massive effect for someone else. It brought me back to thinking about mustard seeds. Then the gospel reading for today let me reflect on it again.
"A leper came to him and kneeling down begged him and said,
'If you wish, you can make me clean.'
Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand,
touched the leper, and said to him, 
'I do will it. Be made clean.'
The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean." Mark 1:40-45
The leper reached out in bold, yet childlike trust in Jesus and Jesus blessed him for it. We are all lepers. We are disfigured by sin and selfishness. I must remember to trust always, despite my sin. God desires to heal us all if only we will trust him to look upon our infirmity with compassion rather than condemnation. We must always remember to reach out. Nobody needed that lesson more than I did. To live a life of abandonment I have to remember that God can use every little detail of my life for my sanctification and to trust in His providence in every situation!

Today I thought of these things as I cleaned the kitchen. With each clean dish that I put away I murmured, "Jesus, I trust in you" or "Thank you, Jesus." The same with each dirty dish that I loaded into the dishwasher. It turned the drudgery that I always groan to do into a prayerful experience. I hope and trust that my little sacrifice will make a difference for someone.

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