Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Ordinary Sacrifices of Daily Life

The ordinary sacrifices of daily life.  What a drag!  But this is the school of love; this is where we learn to give.  This is where God opens us up and draws us into that mysterious “giving away” of ourselves.  It is a challenge to go through the day without grunting and grumbling inwardly.  The little things are exactly where we don’t want to “open up.”  It is easy to love in our imaginations, or in the future.  But it is hard to love today, because today is full of little things, and these are the real things.  How can we walk the road of daily sacrifice?  Indeed, how can we learn to become cheerful givers?  Do we believe that Jesus has made the One Sacrifice that encompasses all our sacrifices?  Do we believe that He really wants to make us holy?  Perseverance is first of all a matter of faith.  I fail and I repent and I fail and I repent day after day.  It doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. But this is no surprise.  I am weak.  He will change me in His way, according to His plan, in His time.  The great temptation is always frustration, discouragement, and—finally—forgetfulness of God.  “Selfish,” an evil voice whispers, “that is the way you are.  You are never going to change!”

No!  What I am is a need for God’s saving and transforming love.  I need to remember Him, believe in Him, adhere to Him, be forgiven again and again and again.  It always comes down to faith.  Faith recognizes that He is here and that He has promised me the fullness of life and love.  “He who believes in the Son has eternal life” (John 3:31).  “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).  Believe in Him.  Hold on to Him.  Trust in Him.  It is He who make the little things into great love.

--from the book by John Janaro, Never Give Up: My Life and God's Mercy
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