Thinking about the ways in which God protects those He has called in order that they can fulfil at least some of the substance of their calling, I was reminded once again of the words (obviously written in the language of the time) of my great uncle Bishop Frank Weston on the subject in one of his retreat addresses.
Let us, holy brothers and sisters, who share in the heavenly calling, set our focus on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. (Heb. 3:1)
All who were gathered together at Calvary fixed their gaze on Jesus. He filled the whole landscape, so that everyone present was intent on watching Him. This is what I want us to do too: to be so engrossed with watching Jesus that nothing has the power to distract us, or to diminish the gratitude that should always be the first response of our hearts to His Heart. It is amazing how little gratitude I so often have towards Jesus. I think of my vocation, and how God makes room for it, and gives me a place that no one else can ever quite fill. The Creator of the Universe goes to such lengths to give me my place, my work and my share in His love. Isn’t that amazing?
He has led me to this place with such wisdom that, whatever He asks me to do, I will do my best to respond to. He will give me the strength to do so. I’m only so sorry that I am still so ungrateful that I often do not trust Him completely, despite all that He has done in the past to lead me to this vocation.
As I look back, I can trace so many of the Lord’s timely and thoughtful interventions at heart-rending moments in my life: how He stretched out His hand to draw me out of danger or no man’s land. In the light of so much love and care how can I continue to entertain so much self-love and mistrust? Forgive me! He truly cares for all our joys and sorrows, and makes them His own.
Even though our lives are often full of trouble we want our souls to be Your refuge, and to be filled with gratitude – less as an occasional interlude than as its permanent possession. As we think of Your patience – and the amazing way You bear with us – and compare it with all our impatience with those around us, let gratitude and the spirit of thanksgiving flow through every aspect of our attitudes. Just as He rescued St Paul from all his trials and sufferings, so He will also rescue us.