When I sit at Mass and listen to the scripture readings, I try to quiet my mind and be led.
But things pop up anyway. Like Sunday, I got stuck on Paul’s letter to Philemon. Onesimus?? Who’s that guy???
But then we got to the Gospel and I was swept into the concept of “pick up your cross and follow me”.
I’m sure it’s no coincidence that Sunday marked the canonization of St. Teresa. The woman knew a thing or two about leaving everything she had behind to follow God’s call on her life.
In her obedience, she faced down suffering so profound that it could not be conquered—not by her work, awards, recognition, celebration or even her sainthood. She served it anyway, in confusion, depression and spiritual darkness. I wonder if that was her cross, having to accept that God had not called her to save the starving baby, the mother with leprosy, the child bride laboring to bring forth a child, but only to witness and love.
Maybe it was to carry the criticism of those who wanted her to do more, to change the very fabric of human nature and condition.
Or maybe it was that she believed God called her to this service and then abandoned her there.
But here’s the thought that humbled my soul on Sunday. What if it was all three?
My God in Heaven…How did she do it?