Sunday, November 14, 2010


The day began well, or so it seemed, but perhaps even then the seeds were planted, as I thought: “This has been pleasant; things are going well” --- for me, I meant. Later, in a time of quiet, I did things I wanted and had time for plans and thoughts on the rest of the day --- my day.

So when the other duties of the day --- and the inevitable intrusions of the day --- came about not according to my plans, I viewed them as disruptions from the pleasantness I thought I was creating, not stopping to think they could be part of His plans. Looking back, it seemed the rest of the day had many disruptions to those things I wanted to do, as other things and people demanded my attention --- which I most reluctantly gave, and then day ended with my frustrations even being directed at God. In the late evening hours, at a time of quiet, I could see how selfish my actions had been throughout much of the day, --- with MY day.

The radio announcer I wake up to most mornings begins his show with the words: “Each day is a gift; use it well.” An appropriate reminder: the day is not MY day. I almost always pause, and silently nod when I hear his words, but perhaps my nod shakes them out of my head, or at least it seems so on some days, like today. It is so easy to fall into the habit of planning MY day, leaving no room for the unexpected intrusions --- or even the intrusions I should expect --- which may be part of God’s plan. Even if we plan for very good and holy things each day, unless we are cloistered (and perhaps even then!), we will have people cross our paths, and delay or disrupt our plans. But, it is important to remember, they are there for a reason! And often ours is not to reason why --- for we might never understand it. Ours is to just love them, to give them love. To each person who comes into our day, our duty is to make their day a little better. And if they should make our day a little better, it is a blessing, but we should not live to receive blessings such as those, but to give them.

I think there’s a reason the Glorious Mysteries of the rosary are usually considered to be the last ones, because the joys and sorrows and actions of Christ in our lives here on earth precede them. Yet so often we plan our days to achieve some measure of, some feeling of, the glorious results we expect. And when the sorrows or actions of Christ, or even unexpected joys, disrupt our plans, we feel frustration. In a way, we feel cheated out of something we deserved, because we were working so hard for it. But the real glorious results for our efforts will not come about solely because of our plans for our days. The glorious results will be a gift, even as “each day is a gift.”

I know that I am very blessed to have time at the end of many days to sit in front of the Blessed Sacrament, conversing with God, receiving His graces. Some nights, like tonight, He shows me my failings, which are often a result of my selfishness. And He reminds me that the graces He gives to me are not mine alone, but are given in excess to me so that I can pass some on to the people He sends across my path, into HIS day.

As we plan and live out our day, we need to plan for, and expect, the unexpected --- and resolve to make time for every person who crosses our path. Each may be special, sent by God just for us, just for us to pass on those graces he gave for us. We shouldn’t fail Him because of our selfishness. Each one, perhaps even those who appear least deserving of our time, may be the one of which He speaks: “When you did it to the least of these, you did it to Me.”

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace. Let me learn to love as You love, by giving of Yourself. Make me see beyond my plans each day, and be open to Yours. I strive for a glorious end to my life, but help me to see that each day, in each of the children You send my way, there, there is the Glorious You in each one of them. Let me love them now, as I wish to love You in all eternity. And let not my petty concerns, my selfish plans, get in the way.

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