“The hardest cross to bear in life is the thought that we are wasting our time, that we are useless, that the world is rushing along and we, apparently, have not yet found our feet. For the missioner the monotony of merely marking time, of facing petty tasks, or even manufacturing small jobs to kill time, can be especially disheartening.
This monotony readily suggests to a nervous conscience that we could be doing better work elsewhere, that we are not really appreciated at our full worth, and that we are not given a chance to show what we could accomplish in busier circumstances. All of us have our daydreams of ideal conditions in which we modestly achieve wonderful success through our own plans, and in these dreams it is difficult at times to distinguish between inspiration and vanity. We all have our moments of dreadful tedium, when even our favorite books are distasteful and when we favor a chance visitor with unusual cordiality.
At such times we could recall with profit the words of the blind Milton: ‘thousands at His bidding speed, and post o’er land and ocean without rest; they also serve who only stand and wait.’ God needs us where we are; we are active even in being merely on call; and the Omnipresent God is beside us even when we feel alone. . . . Sentrywork is essential though seemingly inglorious.
There is a tendency in modern moods to emphasize the emotional side of religion; and we are all somewhat tainted with this error. We are only too prone to look for sensible consolations in our mission work, and in their absence we are tempted to take a grim view of life. The remedy for this self-centered condition is contemplation and service of God. Contemplation takes us out of ourselves and focuses our attention on God; service of God instinctively issues from our contemplation. We see that God needs us in His redeeming of the human race; and we forget ourselves in satisfying God’s needs.”
—Francis X. Ford, M.M., Stone in the King’s Highway,
Seek the answer in God’s grace, not in doctrine;
in the longing of the will, not in the understanding;
in the sighs of prayer, not in research;
seek the bridegroom not the teacher;
God and not man;
darkness not daylight;
and look not to the light but rather to the raging fire that carries the soul to God with intense fervor and glowing love.
The fire is God
—From The Journey of the Mind to God, by Saint Bonaventure
8 Replies to “EMPTINESS”
Boy did this one come at the right time! Amazing and thank you.
I’ve been meditating on these for days…
BRAVO! dearest Heather! Thank you for placing the words to “these” always present thoughts!
that was very beautiful! exactly what i needed and seemingly many more women . as st. paul says: we are crushed but not destroyed! and the cacti being the argument without word: yes, there is still a good way! yes, there is still God, the fire, the cross our help, yes there is fruitfulness. yes, you are needed, yes, you count, yes it is worthwhile.
i hope you are feeling in good spirits and basking in the message yourself!
have a nice day!
Thank you, Tina, and for getting the tie-in with the cacti!!! Crushed but not destroyed, bloody but unbowed…on we go!
“Why do we read? So that we know we are not alone?”
Thank you Heather.
Yes, and fie on the Philistines who are trying to tamper with our beloved books….
Dear Heather, My life is mundane and does not feel good. I don’t have and desire to even get out of bed. All I see is a mess at my house that needs cleaning up and getting rid of things. I don’t want to even get out of bed. I’m sitting in bed now contemplating not even getting up. I wish I had some talent or worth.
Your work is so good. I feel like a nothing. I have been a nurse in the past and looking back…oh, I don’t wish to be negative. How on this earth is one to be happy. It is corrupt and no matter what i read or wish for, it does not inspire or help me want anything. I bless you for getting out of your misery. Help me God to even want a life.