Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Don't Deserve What I Have Been Given

I often speak of my afflictions. Tonight I am moved to count my blessings. And I find that my blessings are beyond calculation.

There are Mommy and some of the kids plopped all over and on top of the couch. It could be any old day. We are a family, together.

Thank you, God, for my family.

Thank you for my wife. It is not only difficulties that make us stronger. It is also joys. So many simple joys shared together. Life shared together. Learning and growing together.

And many joys come from the adventure of raising these children. Plenty of difficulties too. But also the joys that come from being entrusted with these five completely unique human beings. The greatest joys come from watching them open up and express that unrepeat-able image of God that each of them possesses. We do not create these children and we are not making them. We direct them, correct them, and teach them about how to enter into a relationship with reality. But it is reality, and the call of the Mystery conveyed by reality, that shapes their lives most deeply.

Thank you God for my children. Grant that I might look upon each of my children with love and respect.

And thank you God for keeping us together as a family. Without You we cannot remain together. Even if we stayed together physically, we would not be a community except through Your grace, and Your constant care for us.

I am sure that it is the presence of Christ in our family that keeps us together, and forms us into a community where love is (in spite of everything) the dominant language. Our blessings are a sign that He is mysteriously with us, with all of our weakness, and that He is at work, and that He is calling us to stay with Him and follow Him.

There is no sentimentality about what I am saying here. I don't deserve what I have been given. It is all mercy. I find myself enfolded in the compassionate Heart of Jesus. Why me? So that I can proclaim that His Heart is open to everyone; that His compassion brings joy and sustenance in the midst of affliction, if only we trust in Him. My trust is so very, very weak. And yet his desire to love is so strong. He gives so much, and He enables us to recognize it and be grateful for it.

Trust in Jesus. Or at least, ask Him to give you the grace to be able to trust in Him.

1 comment:

Allison said...

Thanks John for this wonderful reflection. I really like what you said here: "We do not create these children and we are not making them. We direct them, correct them, and teach them about how to enter into a relationship with reality. But it is reality, and the call of the Mystery conveyed by reality, that shapes their lives most deeply."
This is how my husband and I see raising our children. I have referred to them as "borrowed treasures."