Not only sharing the resources that he has, whether material or spiritual, but giving the one thing that God has given him as his very own: his life.
Not only fighting against the evil within — in himself — but the evil outside; struggling not only against evil wherever it may be but against the results of evil: unhappiness, suffering, death. But he fights with goodness as his instrument, without ever doing evil, and if it is someone's happiness that is at stake, never agreeing to purchase it at the price of even one person's misery.
Not only does he fight evil in the world; but he accepts the suffering that is his lot.
Not only does he accept it but he accepts it gladly, cheerfully, because it is the Christian's power, his instrument of combat and his means of reaching his goal.
Not only does he fight without glory, but that God may be glorified, that his name may be made holy and that his kingdom may be on the way.
Not only does he accept the fact that he will not seem like a hero but that he will not be one.
Not only that he will not be admired but that he will not even be noticed. Not only that he will not be valued by others but that even in his own eyes he will seem to have no value.
Not only that he will put all his energy into a task, but he will not know the point of the task; not only will he be unaware of who started the job and who will finish it but he will know nothing of the work of God in which it plays a part.
Not only does he fight but he is also peaceable, for it will always be God — all powerful, all loving as he is — who will complete with his power and his love what he has begun and is continuing. He awaits from God with a boundless confidence that for which he is working with all the powers at his command and which his own power is unable to achieve. It is from God that he asks that his will may be done; it is from God that he expects his kingdom may come; prayer is for him the energy of his deeds.
Madeleine Delbrêl "Doing the Will of God" from The Joy of Believing , Ralph Wright, Trs. 1993. (Sherbrooke, QC: Mediaspaul, 1993).
This excerpt appeared in Magnificat in January 2018.
Madeleine Delbrêl (1904-1964) was a French Catholic author, poet, and mystic, whose works include The Marxist City as Mission Territory (1957), The Contemporary Forms of Atheism (1962), and the posthumous publications We, the Ordinary People of the Streets and The Joy of Believing. She came to the Catholic faith after a youth spent as a strict atheist. She has been cited by Cardinal Roger Etchegaray as an example for young people to follow in "the arduous battle of holiness."Copyright © 1993 Mediaspaul
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