Jesus answered: ‘Will you lay down your life for me?’ - John 13:38

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Friday, October 17, 2008

I can do all things in Him who strengthen me

For us Legionaries in NUS, many times we encountered problems with our time management. We must struggled with many many things at the same times. Test, projects, assignments, CCAs, contact work, etc. It's true that things sometimes can be very tiring, very demanding.. And at that point of time, sometimes we are thinking to run away from some of our responsibilities because we feel that we cannot cope with it anymore.

And then, at times, we feel disappointed with ourselves. I failed to do this, and I failed to do that. Specific example for legionaries.. I failed to invite my friend for Mass, for a talk, or for Legion meeting.

In fact, a few days/weeks ago, I did experience that. However, that time, when I was praying using St Josemaria’s book, The Way, I bump into these 2 quotes and they strike me a lot,

When you want to do things well, really well, it's then you do them worse. Humble yourself before Jesus, saying to him: Don't you see how I do everything wrong? Well, if you don't help me very much, I'll do it all even worse! Take pity on your child: You see, I want to write a big page each day in the book of my life. But I'm so clumsy, that if the Master doesn't guide my hand, instead of graceful strokes my pen leaves behind blots and scratches, that can't be shown to anyone. From now on, Jesus, the writing will always be done by both of us together.

You are full of weaknesses. Every day you see them more clearly. But don't let them frighten you. He well knows you can't yield more fruit. Your involuntary falls-those of a child-show your Father God that he must take more care, and your Mother Mary that she must never let you go from her loving hand. Each day, as our Lord picks you up from the ground, take advantage of it, embrace him with all your strength and lay your wearied head on his open breast so that you'll be carried away by the beating of his most loving heart.

Now that I think about it again, these two quotes are quite related to basic duties of legionaries which is listed in chapter 33 of our handbook. To tell you the truth, I’m quite surprised to see the basic duties listed there when I was preparing this allo since I never opened that chapter before. But anyway, there are two things that are listed there that I think quite important for us legionaries to fulfilled, “The Legionary must pray as well as work”, and “The interior life of Legionaries”, which consist of prayer, mortification and sacraments.

From these duties, I can see that our founder has realized how important it is for us to really abandon ourselves to our Father God and to Our Mother Mary; that we, in doing apostolate, must really depend on the divine power, not just on mere human power. This apostolic work, this contact work, is not our work. Through our prayer and interior life, through constant discernment, we should keep asking again and again, what is the Lord’s will in my life? Day by day asking our Lord, “What apostolic work do You want me to do today Lord?” So that we can always be very much united with His Holy will. And then, of course we can always turn to Our Lady, to ask for her intercession for our work.

However, even though we might have practiced that prayer, mortification and sacraments, we might still encountered failings in our apostolate. It’s very normal for us to encountered failings; when we encountered that, keep in mind again, that this work we did, is not our work, it’s God’s work. None of us can change our contact’s hearts. It is only God who can change the heart of a person. Don’t worry and don’t get discouraged when we encounter failings. Like what St Josemaria said, if we really humble ourselves and admit our failings as a child.. And just humbly ask for His help to begin again, again and again. Because He never asked us to success; He just wants us to be faithful and to persevere.

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