My Scripture reading today (Luke 9:18-27) was certainly worth a whole blog post in itself, but because I don’t have a lot of time this morning to blog, here’s my short reflection on a quote from St. Ignatius that accompanied the reading in my prayer book today.
“The only petition I would have you put forward on my behalf is that I may be given sufficient inward and outward strength to be as resolute in will as in words, and a Christian in reality instead of only in repute.” – St. Ignatius of Antioch
I’ve been “pondering in my heart” lately about the real battleground of holiness in my life.
I am more and more convinced that domestic life–that our relationships, interactions with, and service to our immediate families–is where God challenges us to be saints first. I think that God created families for this purpose, to teach us how to live and love in communion with others, just as He does.
Family life is where Christ’s teachings are most difficult! Perhaps we secretly, even unknowingly, pride ourselves on how good we are to our friends, our acquaintances, or to people we are volunteering to help.
And then we go home, and our hearts harden imperceptibly as we walk through the door. Oh so quietly, old hurts, grudges, annoyances, family roles, unforgiveness, disappointment and self-righteousness position themselves behind conflicts or disagreements.
And when those conflicts or disagreements happen, we often close our hearts and minds to the kind of constant examination of conscience that Christianity requires. What are my true motives? What background of this relationship may be coloring my thoughts, words and motives? Where could I even remotely be at fault in harming, using or disrespecting this person? How is God calling me to change or grow to let this relationship with my family member mature from where is was last week, last year, or the last 20 years?
So much for a “short” reflection today!
Oh Lord, let me be as resolute in will as in words! Let me continue my journey toward you by wholeheartedly, realistically, and humbly embracing all the joys and crosses of family life.