Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Prayer of a Chronically Ill Person
Lord, the day is drawing to a close, and like all the other days, it leaves with me the impression of utter defeat. I have done nothing for You: neither have I said conscious prayers, nor performed works of charity, nor any works at all . . . . I have not even been able to control that childish impatience and those foolish rancours which so often occupy the place that should be Your's in the "no-man's-land" of my emotions. It is in vain that I promise You to do better. I shall be no different tomorrow, nor on the day that follows.
When I retrace the course of my life, I am overwhelmed by the same impression of inadequacy. I have sought You in prayer, and in service of my neighbor,. . . . But in seeking You, do I not find myself? Do I not wish to satisfy myself? Those works that I secretly termed good and saintly, dissolve in the light of approaching eternity . . . .Even actual suffering brings me no joy because I bear them so badly.Perhaps we are all like this: incapable of discerning anything but our own wretchedness and our own despairing cowardice before the Light of the beyond that waxes on our horizon.
But, it may be O Lord, that this impression of privation is part of a divine plan. It may be that in Your eyes, self-complacency is the most obnoxious of all fripperies, and that we must come before You naked so that You, You alone, may clothe us.
The Soul Afire - Marguerite Teilhard de Chardin, foundress of Union of the sick in France, 1930.