What prompts action... (Mother Teresa)
In the last couple years i’ve been trying to read more of the classics, specifically the spiritual classics... St Francis of De Sales, St. Ignatius ( and stuff about him ) Brother Lawrence, St. John of the Cross, St. Francis of Assissi, etc... I’ve also read a bit of Mother Teresa, who is pretty classic in her own right. Also in the last 10 years i have tried to make a difference in the world. To be honest, i have probably done a poor job at this. I often think i could serve the poor, feed the hungry, clothe the naked and walk along side the widow and orphan much more intentionally and frequently than i currently do, but try a little nonetheless.
Now i don’t tell you the names of all these books i’ve read because i want you to be impressed (although that’s probably somewhere in my ((not-so)) subconscious) but i primarily tell you the names of these folks, especially Mother Teresa because they made a difference and lived lives that served the poor and oppressed in profound ways. But one thing i don’t think i ever heard from any of these saints or this reading was a sense of guilt imposed on anybody. An encouragement, a statement of importance but never, in what i’ve read, do i ever hear Mother Teresa making a person feel guilty for their failure to live in the example of Jesus and befriend the widow, orphan, marginalize and the sick. Guilt doesn’t seem to ever be the means of motivation. In the lives of these saints there seems to be a firm trust that God calls and some people respond. That grace abounds and when it takes root people will act.
I admire these Saints and they stir me to action with love and grace and most importantly with their authentic example. The vocal Christian advocate who in their subtle, self deprecating ways brags about their service to the poor and the orphan as they spread guilt to those who aren’t doing anything. Yea... i find no motivation their. My guess is this is because only the Spirit of God can stir and prompt, and i’m not sure She works with guilt but instead in love the Spirit of God stirs and moves the people of God to action, in a million different ways.
And as i write all of this i pray this is not my excuse to not take action! The action i know i am called by God to take in this broken world. But what i do know is that i will let love prompt me not guilt.
Grace and peace erik