April 18, 2017: Divine Mercy Week 9 - Choose More Difficult Task
I venture to say that most of us work hard. Would you agree with that? Even those of you who are retired, you work hard and don’t sit still. We were taught as children, “Nothing worth having in life comes easy. Life rewards those who work hard at it.” I once saw an inspirational poster for high school students. It read :
Easy work in life include complaining, blaming, lying, cheating, pretending.
Hard work in life include inspiring, mentoring, helping, learning, giving.
As the poster points out, it does take more mental and emotional energy to remain positive and life-giving in interacting with people in our daily lives. Mother Teresa adds an additional depth to this bit of wisdom by connecting humility to the tasks we do every day. She said that if you want to remain humble, choose always the more difficult task.
What do you think she means when she says, “If you want to remain humble, choose always the more difficult task”? In a documentary on Mother Teresa, a filmmaker captured Mother Teresa in action at a convent she was visiting. The sisters were looking after orphaned children with severe physical and mental handicaps. The camera focused on Mother Teresa taking a wet towel and wiping down dusty metal cribs. It was a menial task, a task overlooked by sisters. It was humbling work for the Superior General of the entire order of the Missionaries of Charity to spend over an hour wiping down the cribs with wet rags. Yet the fruit of her work was an unforgettable inspiration for her sisters and for those who watched her documentary for years to come.
Mother Teresa often said, “It’s not how much you do, but how much love you put in doing it.” The difficult tasks that we perhaps avoid may require us asking God to give us a more generous heart and a desire to be humble. The Mother Teresa sisters pray every morning before Jesus for this grace. And we should, too. Every morning, the sisters pray together before Jesus one prayer without a fail. Let us make this our daily prayer as well.
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning, that we are pardoned;
It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.