Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Lent 2013, XXVII

XXVII. So I am trying to apply Mother Teresa’s principle to my own life, and I am beginning to see that it is at once intensely practical, and at the same time profoundly spiritual. It is based on trust in God, and compatible not only with the sense of personal smallness and brokenness that was a mark of Mother Teresa’s spiritual life, but also with a powerful realization of the dignity inherent in me as a child of God. To put a concrete set of circumstances to an abstract principle, I like to go to daily Mass. When I am in the states, work permitting I go to Mass every day, and sometimes make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament as well. These are not merely good things, but holy things. They are a partaking in the source and summit of redeemed human life on earth, so at first glance it would seem that they should be my top priority and anything that prevents me from going to Mass should be eliminated from my life. However, looking at it through the lens of Mother Teresa’s humility and trust, I find a new way of looking at it. When I am deployed I am very often unable to get to Mass, even on Sundays. In Afghanistan I went three months one time without ever seeing a priest. If I were to follow my logic about Mass being the highest priority I would have to get out of the Army, (which I plan on doing anyway, but that’s beside the point) so that I would never have to miss Mass again. But following Mother Teresa’s dictum of sanctification within my state-in-life I am forced to acknowledge that I don’t really know what I need. Mass and Adoration are great goods. In fact they are the highest goods in this life, or in the next even. But God has placed me here, where I am, and not there. What I do in the Chapel is objectively higher than what I do on mission, but God has placed me on mission, not in the Chapel. Trust in Him entails humbly accepting that spiritual privation and looking for the path to sanctity hidden at my feet.

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