Sunday after Pentecost
Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk
19th November 2017
What Set The Saints Apart From Us?
by Rev. Fr. Edward Leen C.S.Sp.
What sets the Saints apart from the great number of good
souls is that from the beginning they made God the pivot
on which they made their whole existence on Earth to
revolve, and that they abided constantly in this
disposition. They unrolled their whole life's activity
under the eye, and in the presence of God. They referred
to Him in all things. They never identified themselves
with their own life or their own life's tasks. They
habitually asked themselves: "What will God say?" They
looked upon each call on their human activity as coming,
at the very moment of its happening, straight from the
lips of God, they did not regard it as something
springing from the condition of things. They lived, as
it were, in God's house and not in their own. Life's
tasks become household duties which they accomplished in
such a way as to please the Master, but the tasks were
His, not theirs. The value of these tasks for them were
God's appointment, and not in that they were materials
out of which to fashion for themselves a life and
existence accommodated to egoistic ideals.
The revenue of their works went to God and not to
themselves for they were not their works, but His.
They looked to him in all things; His pleasure was the
sole determinant of their activity. Love for Him, the
desire to do His will out of love, was what made them do
each thing, each day and at every moment of the day.
They did merely the things we do, but they did them
differently from us in this sense. They did them for
God; we do them because they are ours to do, and because
in the doing of them we evolve and build up our lives.
They regarded their lives from God's angle of vision,
not from their own. We wish, for instance, to indulge
our own grief, undistracted by the thought of an
Absolute Power which may enquire as to how we are
The Saints did not live for themselves, they brought God
Love of Him was the source from which it was directed.
They were far more intent on the inner motive than on
outward effect. They looked through their parents, they
looked through the events of their life - to God. In
this way every movement of the souls brought with it an
increase of supernatural life and strength.
We persist in regarding things in the reverse order.
We think that once we have done well God's work in the
world, it is well with us. God wants our perfection and
not the perfection of things outside of us. We persuade
ourselves that in carefully doing God's work we are
seeking God. In reality we may be, in a subtle manner,
seeking ourselves. Even when we are not moved by
(worldly) ambition, by vainglory, by desire of praise,
etc., we still are not free from everything that can
tarnish or vitiate our work. We can approach the task
set by God in the spirit of the artist and not in the
spirit of the child working in God's house. For the
artist the perfection of that work is the object that
determines every movement of his actions. His task is
done when some element of beauty or perfection is
accomplished. Something splendid has been done, but it
has not, necessarily, perfected him as a man. So
likewise with ourselves.