2012 Core Team Member Bill is in today to share some wisdom and reflection on the spirituality of Love Begins Here. Enjoy the read… and a little VLOG trailer to help you get excited about what’s to come in the next few weeks.
“Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded”
On LBH this summer, we will all have the privilege of receiving a beautiful humility checklist of sorts according to the spiritual discipline and life of Blessed Mother Theresa. While this list is profoundly rich, it is also terrible. My first peruse through the list felt like a strong punch to the gut. Sometimes being punched in the gut is good though. The pain was the realization that I personally am always in need of growth in holiness, especially in humility.
One of the items on the list reads, “Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.” This is truly the goal of a Christian missionary. This summer on LBH we will have the opportunity to do so much good work for the Lord’s beloved poor. The work we will do is sometimes going to be so awesome, look so beautiful, and make such a difference that we are going to very proud of ourselves. Sometimes we will even receive some incredibly appreciative recognition for the good work we do. This is great.
However, there may be other times this summer–and in all of life really–where the service we do for others will go unnoticed, unappreciated, and unthanked. The beautiful part of this all is the true underlying goal of the work we do and in whose name we do it.
As a line from the beautiful daily prayer of Mother Theresa and her missionaries says,
“Shine through us, and be so in us, that every person should come in contact with may feel your presence in our soul. Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus.”
As wonderful as it is to receive praise and recognition for our work, how beautiful would it be if every one we served this summer could see the light of Christ so deeply alive in us that they knew not to thank us, but to thank Jesus Himself! What an honor it would be to be forgotten so that Jesus may be remembered, for our work to be disregarded so that Jesus Christ’s work may be praised and glorified!
This is the true mission of Love Begins Here and really all Christian charity. Not to work for the sake of our own glory. Not even to work to solve all the worlds problems of poverty, hunger, and sadness (although those are certainly fine goals). Rather, the work of Christian charity is to make Christ’s intense merciful love for each one of us visible in the world.
Truly, if we give a man bread to eat, water to drink, and a shelter to rest beneath, he may find temporary comfort. But one day the bread will be gone, the water will dry, and the shelter will fall. But if we give him Christ, the living bread who satisfies our hunger, the life giving water who quenches our thirst, and the cornerstone beneath whose Church we may find perpetual refuge, then we will have truly loved that man.
In this light, it will be a distinct privilege to “Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.”