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Why They Could Leave Everything and Follow Jesus


Glory to God in the highest and peace to men.

dominic2242Glory to God in the highest and peace to men.  Here is perfect fulfilment because God is our Friend, our Father.  He bestows sonship on us, begets us in Jesus.  Do we live out the sonship thus bestowed?  The tidings of immense joy are for you, for me, for each one without exception.  Each of us may say "you are my Father."  If we would be truly human, if we would give glory to God, our lives must say it.

It is easy to make general statements.  Our living of sonship, our affirmation of God's fatherhood is a moment-by-moment business.  Fatherhood means nothing unless it is exercised at every moment of our lives, and we must recognize it and respond.  We need enlightened eyes of the heart to pierce the disguises, to say "yes, you are my Father" in the now.  There is only one point, so to speak, where God is for us, and that is the now.

How readily we would escape from the now — into what we think should be, to what may be, to what has been, to what is coming.  How much energy and attention we waste worrying over the past, being anxious and doubtful and full of fear for the future.  He is with me now, quietly, unobtrusively asking me to receive him, to recognize him.  Now, in this one little circumscribed moment, I can say "yes, Father." Such a poor little "yes"; no grandiose certainties that I will never do this again, never commit that fault again — no dreads and despairs that I cannot be faithful.  Only a little "yes" now…. That is to live in my poverty relying only on him to see me through, to enable me to say "yes" — to do what I can't — be faithful unto death.

Oh, how simple it is, that poor little "yes" in the now, not in the future, not even an hour ahead, but now — and yet it is all that is required for God to give himself entirely.  This is to live sonship, total dependency, our whole life affirming: "you are my Father."  I cannot think of anything more important for us than to work at establishing the conviction that God is Father.  If only so much of the time and energy we expend on ourselves, our moods, our imaginary world were devoted to a constant alertness to the glorious transforming truth, "you are my Father."



burrowsRuth Burrows. "Why They Could Leave Everything and Follow Jesus."  from Through Him, With Him, In Him: Meditations on the Liturgical Seasons (London, UK: Bloomsbury Publishing Pic., 1987).

Reprinted by permission of Bloomsbury Publishing.

The Author

burrows2burrows1Ruth Burrows is the pen name of Sister Rachel, O.C.D., a nun of the Carmelite monastery at Quidenham in Norwich, England. Among her books are Guidelines for Mystical Prayer, Essence of Prayer, and To Believe in Jesus.

Copyright © 1987 Bloomsbury Publishing
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