Monday, May 6, 2013

The Invitation

"'Abide in Me!'  What an unusual invitation!  What a plea for sanctity!  What a call to intimacy!  What an assurance of God's thirst for our love!  

"Shall we accept this invitation, respond to this call?  Or shall we let well-enough alone and refuse to make so hazardous a venture....

"This intimate life in God is offered to all.  It is forced upon no one.  It is accepted by few."

These lines have stuck with me since I read them recently.  I find myself pondering the truth of them, realizing how easy it is to let well-enough alone.  After all, I'm comfortable going through my days trying not to rock boats, ruffle feathers, or hand over to God those parts of my life that I'd really prefer to manage on my own.

To abide in God, continues the author of these words, "is the relinquishment of all in order to be buried in God.  We know that God dwells within the soul.  He waits, however, for the soul to give Him freedom to work at her perfection.  The soul decides the amount of freedom she will give to the Builder of Saints.  He awaits her decision."  (Sheltering the Divine Outcast, compiled by A Religious, The Peter Reilly Co, Philadelphia, 1952, pp.160-163)

How much freedom will I give to the Builder of Saints?  The choice is mine.  He awaits my decision.

This intimate life in God is offered to all.

It is forced upon no one.

It is accepted by few.

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Painting by Heinrich Vogeler Frühling, in US public domain