By Dom Hubert Van Zeller

Springfield, Illinois

Nihil Obstat: Georgivs Smith, S.T.D., PH.D.
Imprimatur: E. Morragh Bernard
Westmonaterii: Die XVII Movembris MCML

First Published 1951

Monday, March 14, 2011

The First Condition

The only thing that really matters in life is doing the will of God.  Once you are doing the will of God, then everything matters.  But apart from the accepted will of God, nothing has any lasting reality.

If God wills that you should be bowed over the sink in the pantry instead of over the bench in your favourite church, then washing up is for you, now, the most perfect thing you can possibly do.

If you once really appreciate this truth, and act according to its implications, you save yourself a lot of unnecessary heart-searching an resentment.  The whole business of serving God becomes simply a matter of adjusting yourself to the pressure of existing conditions.  This is the particular sanctity for you.

You will be tempted to say that it is impossible to serve God while worrying about the upkeep of a house, you will explain that you get so irritable that you cannot see this principle of substituting the present duty for the envied prayer time, you will point out your inability to direct your intention towards God when you are so exhausted that you cannot think, you will quote your repeated failures, your bitterness, your manifest falling off from what you were before you came to be overwhelmed with household cares, your dependence upon all sorts of help which are denied to you.  You will say you are unsuited temperamentally, physically, spiritually, by training, to the work of recollection.

But none of these things disqualifies.  It can only be repeated that your whole business is still to look for God in the midst of all this.  You will not find him anywhere else.  If you leave your dishes, your housekeeping books, your telephone, calls, your government forms, your children's everlasting questions, your ironing, and your invitations to take care of themselves while you go off and search for our Lord's presence in prayer you will discover nothing but self.

This is the first lesson for the Christian wife and mother today: to let go of what may once have been -- and under other circumstances might now be -- a recollected self, and take on, with both hands, the plan of God.  Indeed it is the lesson for every Christian in every age: it is the Gospel principle of dying on one plane in order to live on another.

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