Doing Whatever for Christ

By Marc Massery

Turn to any page of the Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska and you find spiritual gems. Like this one:

Suddenly I heard the bell in the next room, and I went in and rendered a service to a seriously sick person. When I returned to my room, I suddenly saw the Lord Jesus, who said, "My daughter, you gave Me greater pleasure by rendering Me that service than if you had prayed for a long time." I answered, "But it was not to You, Jesus, but to that patient that I rendered this service." And the Lord answered me, "Yes, My daughter, but whatever you do for your neighbor, you do for Me" (1029).

As fallen men and women, we do not tend to think as God does. He sees our lives much differently than we do. As Jesus implies above, every time we serve others, we serve Him. In this case, St. Faustina's service to an ill patient pleased Him even more than many hours of prayer.

Many of us have this image in our minds that sanctity requires countless hours of prayer and mortification. But we forget that holiness is merely becoming who we were always meant to be. We were created to live in service of one another: service to our husband or wife, sons and daughters, friends and family, and especially those in most need.

When you stay up most of the night helping your sick child, you're serving Christ. When you visit your ailing mother, you're visiting Christ. When you hand a beggar on the street a $5 bill, you're giving to the Lord.

Indeed, God calls some to a contemplative life and many hours of daily prayer. But most of us are called to live holy lives in the world, serving others in simple ways.

Yes, we must pray. But we pray in order to grow in love and holiness so that we might become more Christ-like to one another. After all, even those living a contemplative vocation serve others, albeit through intercession.

During our busy day, we become distracted and find ourselves resenting those around us. We get frustrated with our child for disturbing our sleep. We find an excuse to not have to go out of our way to visit Mom. We silently scoff at the homeless man asking for change.

Sometimes we miss God's invitations to serve Him and even hurt, instead of help, those around us. But the Lord knows we're not perfect. He loves us, frail and fickle as we are. He only asks us that whenever we fall, we turn back to Him with a contrite heart and try again.

My prayer: Jesus please help me to treat those around me as if they were You. When I get frustrated and fail to serve as I should, help me not to dwell on my imperfection, but upon Your abundant mercy.

View the previous Discovering the Diary
 

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