A Prayer for Charity
I am blessed to work in an environment where I see God’s hand at work. Brokenness and despair find healing and hope on a regular basis in the ministry of Catholic Charities. Of course, we are really a party to God’s work, not our own, when we cooperate in his plan.
Like a faucet, how open we are to the flow of God’s grace will determine a great deal about how our lives go. If we allow grace to just trickle through us, we will always feel incomplete. Our lives will only speak to a portion of the glory God asks us to reflect, and the people we are made to be will remain hidden from sight.
Instead, we are meant to be fully open, sending great rushes of heavenly power and influence out all around us. We can share God’s life-giving water with an arid world, and watch those who become refreshed rejoice as children often do in front of open street hydrants on the hottest of days.
As people of good will, we have had far too much to mourn lately. There is such loss of innocent life all around us. Everywhere we look life is cheapened, the very taking of it depicted in increasingly graphic ways and marketed as entertainment for impressionable minds.
For every tragedy that challenges our belief in a good and loving God, and for all of the evidence that society wishes to distance itself from the gospel, we have a remedy. The tragedy of the present age is that we have denied that anything is sinful. We have, therefore, convinced ourselves that we no longer need Christ or his redemptive act on the cross. Now, when the natural effects of sin ravage our mental and spiritual well-being, and drive men and women in our communities to inhuman acts of violence against one another, we no longer remember where to turn.
But he is still here.
He waits to heal us, and wants us to come to him. No sin or weakness is too great for him to eradicate. He will not force his love upon us; he waits for us to accept his invitation because his love is so great that it respects our free will.
Lately, a prayer has been forming in my heart as a key realization has deepened: our work in being God’s leaven in this world is achieved one person, one encounter, one heart, one mind at a time. There is no shortcut past the hard work we must do to fulfill God’s will. No political plan or legislation can relieve me of my obligation to be Christ to others every day. I need to lift others up. He calls us into relationship with himself, and, in turn, into relationship with one another so that all may know his love.
I am not worthy of the gifts you have given me or the plan you have asked me to be part of.
I live the rich life you give me with weakness and distraction.
You have made me to be a conduit of your grace and a flowing river of your love.
You have created me for greatness, a greatness that comes from playing my part – however minor it may seem – in the great drama of human history in which you have placed me.
I ask for the gift to recognize your grace and to do all that is necessary to realize your design for my life.
May I seek your plan for even the smallest things you have given me responsibility for.
I pray with all my being that I will be truly present to those you put in my daily life. May nothing be more important to me than your will for the very moment I am living in.
Help me to be Christ to my neighbor in every way you ask, so they may know you.
May I never look past any person in front of me and risk missing a chance to be Christ to them.
May I never lack the courage to do bold things for your name, though it may cause others to ridicule, attack or insult me.
Help me to take any fears, doubts, questions and pain I may have to the foot of the cross, so that by placing them there I may become unburdened, knowing that Jesus’ sacrifice has removed the weight of all things from me.
Assist me in clinging to the tools of the faith you have gifted to me in the sacraments and the Body of Christ, and may I never separate myself from these aids to my salvation.
Above all else, dear Lord, give me true abandonment to your desires every moment of my life until the day I can behold your face for eternity.
*This article by Mark Rohlena, Esq., first appeared in The Colorado Catholic Herald in January 18, 2013.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Mark has been interviewed by the New York Times best-selling author, Hugh Hewitt, and was recently cited on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. Mark is a monthly columnist with the Colorado Catholic Herald and His blog, The Charity of Christ has received national acclaim.