Sunday, July 31, 2011

When We Give

Hello Ladies,

To say that women give too much of themselves is nothing less than cliche. It is said that women give too much whether they are mothers or not. We give too much to our boyfriends/husbands/children. We give too much to our bosses. And are we appreciated when we give so much? Are we respected for our sacrifices? Not if we give without love. 

I have always stated that all our actions should come from CARITAS, love that inspires action. And it can get confusing because some of our greatest acts of caritas are when we feel worn out and we can't give any more. We all remember those newborn days when we wanted to ignore the baby's cries so that we could rest and heal. But we get up anyway. So how can we tell whether we're working from caritas? Let me quote the familiar passage of 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

How much of what we do is to conform to the expectations of others? How much of our anxiety stems from what we believe we should be doing instead of what God is asking from us? Who do we listen to? Why not listen to the One who created us simply because He wants to spend time with us? When we spend time with God we become more loving. We become as God created us to be.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all thing, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-6)

Isn't that more like it? If children learn from their parents then it's safe to say that this is what Our Father is trying to teach us. If we put our own goals ahead of this (keeping our house perfectly clean, our children perfectly behaved, looking perfect all the time, being the perfect employee, etc.) then we are going to be miserable. 

Spend time with God. Allow His presence into all the parts of yourself that are envious, boastful, vain, and resentful. Ask Him how you can use your time, talents, and treasure more effectively. Go to work with caritas. Bathe your children with caritas. Yes, even do your hair with caritas. (No one says you can't look good.) 

We women work so hard and endure so much. And many times we feel we can endure no more. But if we work with God we will worry less about the burdens others wish us to bear. If we work with God we will choose work worth doing. We will choose caritas over vanity and duty. We will be liberated. And because we are loving, we will find that we CAN bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and yes, endure all things.

Sit Deus Nobis! (May God Be With Us!)

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