The Servants of Charity
Divine Providence Province
Being a Disciple in God’s Plan…
During the first year of my mandate, I was very sensitive to criticism and discouraging remarks from certain confreres. But afterwards, I reflected and decided to look introspectively and interiorize silently on the attitude of those critical remarks.
To have a learning experience and to have care and compassion for others’ feelings and to deeply feel others’ pain, joy and well-being is quite challenging now-a-days. How do we become discerners of a caring and compassionate heart? I have thought about discerning God’s will for me and others these days. It’s hard to know where our motivations are coming from and sometimes cultivating an authentic and honest relationship is quiet difficult. Maybe we are too busy focusing on what we want that we lose sight in doing anything else.
Conforming one’s will to God’s will means concretely putting on the mind and the heart of Christ (Ph 2:5). It means not accepting the mind of the world but thinking the way Jesus thinks and loving the way Jesus loves. If we do not enter into intimacy with Jesus through personal prayer then it becomes very difficult to discern what God really wants of us. Now really knowing a person is to know him with your heart rather than with your mind. Being human, we all harbor within us fears, worries, anger, guilt feelings, insecurity, loneliness and stress. In all of us, we will find self-interest and motivations that lead to selfishness and egoism. We all live under the shadow of prejudices and therefore we are not free to look at circumstances, people, and situations without becoming judgmental in our thinking. In all, there are still hurts of the past that we are carrying and have not been yet completely healed of. In all of us there is a craving to win an argument or a battle for who is the best or greatest.
It happens that often religious leaders, always concerned about others and resolving others’ problems, seldom think about the need of being healed themselves. How can they help others in their journey towards Christ and perfection if they themselves are not on a journey with Christ, i.e., ignoring redemptive suffering? We could take as the best example our Founder, St. Guanella, during times of tribulation and rejection, his attitude was “Let us go to the Father” and trust completely in God the Father. God does not unfold all the plans in front of us at one time. He uncovers only one step at a time. For example, God did not give Moses a map with the entire route that he had to follow, but He told him what he had to do at the moment. Therefore, the more we are in tune with God, the more God will reveal to us what He has in His plan for us and thus discerning is not a technique but is a daily communication with God.
Fr. Soosai Rathinam, SdC