"Call" is the keyword....
The idea, simple but very meaningful, is absolutely fundamental to our temporal and spiritual plans.
Human beings cannot attain fulfillment solely by carrying out their own projects. These projects are legitimate and necessary, and we must bring our intelligence and energy to bear on accomplishing them. But that's not enough, and in the event of failure it can lead to disillusionment. Another attitude, one in the end more decisive and fruitful, must accompany our initiating and carrying out of projects: that of listening to the calls, the discrete, mysterious invitations that come to us continuously throughout life. This attitude of listening and availability takes priority over even the projects themselves.
I believe we can be fulfilled as human beings only to the extent that we perceive and respond to the calls life addresses to us day in and day out: calls to change, grow, mature, enlarge our hearts and our horizons, and leave behind hardness of heart and narrow-mindedness in order to welcome reality in a larger and more confident manner.
These calls come to us in many ways. Sometimes they come through experiences or by the example of others who touch us, sometimes from desires that arise in our hearts or requests from people who are close to us, often from Holy Scripture. They originate from God, who gives us life, never ceases to watch over us, and wants tenderly to lead and constantly intervene for each of his children in a way that is discreet, often imperceptible, yet efficacious. Although many are, unfortunately, unaware of this presence and action of God, they reveal themselves to those who know how to place themselves in the attitude of listening and availability.
God is the God of the living, not the dead. He reaches out to us continually, mysteriously but certainly, infusing our lives with value, beauty, and fruitfulness beyond our imagining.
Father Jacques Philippe. "The Call of Jesus." from Called to Life (New York, NY: Scepter Press 2008).
Reprinted with permission of Scepter Press.
Father Jacques Philippe is a spiritual director, retreat master and the founder of the Community of the Beatitudes. He is the author of Called to Life, Real Mercy: Mary, Forgiveness and Trust, Searching for and Maintaining Peace: A Small Treatise on Peace of Heart, Interior Freedom, Fire & Light, Time for God, Thirsting for Prayer, and In the School of the Holy Spirit. His website can be found here.Copyright © 2008 Scepter Press
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