Do you ever find, as you encounter the Scripture, that a passage really strikes you for no apparent reason? I experienced this last evening when doing evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours.
The reading, from St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians struck a chord in my heart, especially the phrase: “may charity be the root and foundation of your life.” Sometimes this passage (Eph. 3:17) is translated ‘rooted and grounded in love.’
I was reminded of the fact that charity, love, is to be the driving force for all we do. Whether I work as a receptionist, assist our residents with bedtime preperations, or simply enjoy a meal with my fellow Sisters, love for the person next to me, and ultimately love for Christ, should motivate and give direction to what I do.
I must never get so caught up in ‘getting things done’ that I forget that charity is the root and foundation of it all. ‘Getting things done” must never supersede acting in love to the person nearest to me. I have to remind myself to be willing to stop what I am doing, set aside my present priorities to love Christ in the person I am encountering.
Sometimes, when I work at our reception desk, someone will come up. I sometimes have to force myself to be present to them, to stop what I am working on to give them my whole, undivided attention. I think of Christ’s words in Matthew’s Gospel: “Whatever you did to the least of my brothers, you did to me.” At the end of my life I won’t want to have to say, “I’m sorry I ignored you or only half-listened to you, Lord, but I was busy with something I thought was more important.”
I’d like to quote the passage which inspired these ramblings in full, as I think it is very rich and may be a good source of inspiration to you as well.
- May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, and may charity be the root and foundation of your life. Thus you will be able to grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge, so that you may attain the fullness of God Himself. To Him whose power now at work in us can do immeasurable more than we ask or imagine- to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus through all generations, world without end. Amen.”