Friday, July 9, 2010

Thirsting for Souls

A common theme explored by both St. Therese of Lisieux and Blessed Mother Teresa is that of Jesus suffering thirst. When He cried out "I thirst!" from His agony on the cross, human nature prompts us to associate His plea with the need for a drink (especially in this heat!). The Saints, however, knew that He thirsted for the souls of all generations and that a good deal of His suffering on that first Good Friday was the knowledge of how few would respond to His call.

What am I doing to cool His thirst?

Do I cause people to look at me and say "if that's what being a Catholic is all about, forget it!"? Or do I project enough joy that I make people at least curious about what it is I've found that has caused such a conversion in me?

Do I denigrate people who disagree with me, or do I respectfully point out the error of their thinking with love?

A story has been recounted about Mother Teresa lifting a man from the gutter in Calcutta. He spat in her face. Without losing her composure and without missing a beat, she said "OK, that was for me. Now what do you have for Jesus"? The man is reported to have converted on the spot. We never know what profound impact a simple word or gesture will have on someone else. "We must not let slip even one opportunity to sacrifice for Jesus!" cried St. Therese. "Pick up a pin from a motive of love, and you may save a soul."

Can any of us ignore the plea of a human being crying out in hunger or thirst? Then we must do no less for Jesus. If it means setting aside anger, jealousy, resentment, humiliation, all the better.

One final I felt a twinge of "oh,no" recently when a long-winded priest who was to celebrate Mass at a certain church came out of the sacristy, I thought: "Maybe someday you'll have NO priest to offer Mass and you'll rejoice at the sight of Father X". And I thought of the rich man begging for Father Abraham to allow Lazarus to dip his finger in cool water to cool his tongue. As much as Jesus thirsts for us, I should thirst for Him and take advantage of every opportunity to get to Mass and spend time with Him in Adoration. And never again should I even THINK about groaning inside about who shows up to celebrate Mass!

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