Have you ever wanted to be a more whole hearted disciple? Growing in the love of God and Neighbor? What is holding you back? What holds me back? The Church identifies three things that hold us back, the World, the Flesh, and the Devil. These three things are the source of all our problems. But, thanks be to God, Jesus our Savior has come, He has broken these chains and given us the grace and the keys to overcome! Jesus sows the seeds of the Love of God and Neighbor in our hearts. We tend and water the soil through what is called the Evangelical Councils of Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience. In the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 915 it says “Christ proposes the evangelical councils, in their great variety, to every disciple”
Today I want to talk about Poverty. Missions is a paradoxical life that allows you to share in the poverty of those you serve, but that poverty becomes abundance! There is always something to share and the joy of those who share and receive is incredible. I recently read a sermon by John Henry Newman, entitled “Love, the One Thing needful” where he speaks on I Cor. 13:1 and of the two greatest commandments. Towards the end of the sermon he says “if we attend to ourselves, of our want of love to God………If I must, before concluding, remark upon the mode of overcoming the evil, I must say plainly this, that…. the comforts of life are the main cause of it;………A hard life is, alas! no certain method of becoming spiritually minded, but it is one out of the means by which Almighty God makes us so. We must, at least at seasons, defraud ourselves of nature, if we would not be defrauded of grace.”
Now am I saying that missions is all suffering and denial of the flesh and comforts? Far be it! It is one of extraordinary grace and amazing opportunity to experience things you probably never would. My experience thus far is that missions is a place away from ordinary comforts that prepares the soil of your heart for so much more! It clears your head, opens your eyes, and makes you hungry for more of God as truly the “One thing” necessary of our whole existence. What you give up is nothing compared to what you reap in Grace!
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