|Memorial of St. Francis Borgia,
Psalm 27:7-8, 8-9, 13-14
One of the greatest missionaries of all time, Therese of Lisieux, did most of her work inside the four walls of her convent, indeed within the confines of her own heart. Jesus calls us to do the same thing in today's Gospel, not to go out on the road in physical poverty but to enter more deeply into our own lives and into the surroundings in which we live our lives. It is easy for us to dream of doing great deeds or working under persecution somewhere else, but that is not where Jesus is sending us.
We often feel as if we are sent alone, with support and without being understood or accepted for the deeply insightful and religious people that we are: we are wrong on both counts. We are not all that holy, and Jesus is at our side to lead and aid and protect and encourage. We need to deepen our poverty of self, dispense with our self-reliance, set aside our own little theologies, and trust that the Lord will accomplish his work through us --- and even better and more easily the less of "us" there is in his way.
And we also need to remember that there are some battles that we are not going to win even when we are at our simplest and most humble. There are situations and people that we need to walk away from and need to put in the Lord's hands by our constant and urgent prayer. There are some devils which can only be handled in this way, and our limiting our energies to pounding on such a closed door keeps us from dealing with problems we can solve, people we can touch, hearts that it is possible for us to heal.
Christ sends us forth not without aids but in the strength of humility
and poverty and with his own companionship.
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