Thursday, April 14, 2011

Open to His voice

Last night we were honored to have Msgr. Tom Caserta for our evening of Faith on Tap. Every time I have heard him speak he is inspiring and thought provoking. Last evening was nothing out of the ordinary. While he explored the Christian response to suffering, he encouraged all to reflect on Dr. Viktor Fankl's insights in his autobiography, Man's Search for Meaning.

In addition to his insights on suffering, he offered some thoughts on ways of being in God's presence. His final thoughts consisted of a prayer from Cardinal Newman. This prayer was given to me over 37 years ago and has been part of my life ever since. It has been a source of trust and peace during those years. I have frequently encouraged those discerning a religious vocation to pray it as well.

Our Holy Father commented on Newman's prayer with these words:

Dear young friends: only Jesus knows what "definite service" he has in mind for you. Be open to his voice resounding in the depths of your heart: even now his heart is speaking to your heart. Christ has need of families to remind the world of the dignity of human love and the beauty of family life. He needs men and women who devote their lives to the noble task of education, tending the young and forming them in the ways of the Gospel. He needs those who will consecrate their lives to the pursuit of perfect charity, following him in chastity, poverty and obedience, and serving him in the least of our brothers and sisters.

Ask him for the generosity to say "yes!" Do not be afraid to give yourself totally to Jesus. He will give you the grace you need to fulfill your vocation.

Newman Prayer

God has created me to do Him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission -- I may never know it in this life,
but I shall be told it in the next.
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught.
I shall do good, I shall do His work;
I shall be a preacher of truth in my own place,
while not intending it, if I do but keep His commandments
and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore, my God, I will put myself without reserve into Thy hands.
What have I in heaven, and apart from Thee what do I want upon earth?
My flesh and my heart fail,
but God is the God of my heart, and my portion for ever.

-Cardinal Newman