“How can I maintain a pure mind and pure thoughts away from judging people while listening to all the parties involved in a problem at church?” This question simply haunted me. I was assigned to serve abroad in a church that had quite a few problems and I didn’t really know how to handle them.
On the first Saturday evening, I met a number of people but I wasn’t really listening. The following Sunday morning, I was holding Mass service. I was surprised when a young deacon -who joined the church recently - stood to read the Bible, but barely finished the psalm as tears filled his eyes. It was when he started to read the gospel that his sighs and sobs became simply too much that he couldn’t finish reading the Gospel and had another deacon replace him to read the gospel.
The whole congregation wondered, “why is this young man crying?” while I felt sorry for myself and wished that God grant me similar pure tears.
On that same week, as we were praying the 12thth hour prayer in one of the houses of the congregation, and during reciting the psalms, the hostess’ eyes were full of tears. Her tears went running down her face and she was actually crying more than she could speak. This kept happening more than once, and I couldn’t help but be moved by her tears.
On the following Sunday, the young deacon came to me in all humbleness saying, “After the Mass last week, many people asked me about the reason of my crying. I’m a sinner father. I feel that I’m not worthy of reading the gospel because of my sins.”
And so, in a foreign country and in the midst of church problems, I met pure souls offering their tears to their Savior as an acceptable sacrificial offering of love. They are souls that know how to sustain the work of the spirit within their lives, and so live concerned with the salvation of their souls regardless of the surrounding circumstances.
O’Lord grant me pure thoughts wherever I am and under all circumstances.
May Your Holy Spirit lift me up above all happenings,
So that my heart would not be occupied with troubles but with Your Salvation.
May it overcome all problems as if lifted by the wings of a dove.
May my soul rise to live for You and by You.
May it fly to settle in Your Embrace.
May I indulge myself in your mysteries.
I ask neither to have a certain stature nor to live in a certain ambiance,
But to be in Your Arms wherever I am.
It is not where I am that sanctifies my thoughts,
Nor my surroundings which shape my soul.
It is Your Spirit who sanctifies to the end.
May my soul rise as with a dove’s wings
For me to cry over my grave sins
So that my tears mix with your wondrous works.
I cry over sins that bear heavily upon my soul.
I offer them to you as an offering of pure love.
Grant me also tears of joy
For my soul to rise to the heavens in hope
And praises your unbroken work in it.
A Piece of Bread
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