One of my friends recently shared this beautiful reflection by Catherine Doherty, written in the 1960’s. As a student almost finished my undergraduate degree (and many of my friends having already graduated) I found this to be very inspiring and hopeful. I think this should be shared with everyone, whether they are students or not, working or not, discerning the religious life or not, and so on. Please pass this onto your friends and family, especially if you know anyone who is struggling to discern their vocation (as we all have/are), this is sure to inspire them!
Sometimes I wish that I had the words of an angel, a prophet, a seer, or a golden-mouthed orator to convey what it is to be a member of the Mystical Body.
To think that I am a part of Christ, not just a follower, not just a disciple, not just someone who stands near Christ as Peter did…No. I am one with Christ! Do you realize this? Do we realize what a tremendous power we have, that Christ has literally handed His Body, the Church, to us?
If you look at your body you see that your hand does one job, your foot another, your eyes a third. There is a diversity in unity. This is very important for that mysterious Mystical Body of which we are so visibly a part.
Some people who have never been in the missions do a great deal for the missions. St. Therese, the Little Flower, was named Patroness of Missions. She lived in a cell, she never saw a mission.
So also the secretary at her office, the man driving a bus, the mother washing diapers. If they are doing so with the proper motivation, they too are making the Mystical Body grow. Though I don’t know it fully myself, I wish I could explain to you how members of the Mystical Body, by doing something as simple as washing dishes, increase the good in the world.
If someone washes the dishes and says to God, “Lord, I am very little. Through your obedience to your will, I am washing these dishes. I am going to wash them well for love of you and for the souls in Afghanistan or wherever.”
Now the dishes change, and the little member of the Mystical Body who is washing them knows that he or she is a missionary.
If I say to the Lord, “Lord, as I walk out of this door, I walk for all the tired who cannot walk. I walk for all the sick who are in bed. I walk for all those who walk on broken feet, as so many do. I walk for love’s sake, for your sake.”
And lo and behold, this short little walk is lifted up by the hands of Our Lady and put in the lap of her Son, who picks it up and offers it to the Father.
And down comes the rain of graces for Africa, for the sick, the lame, the halt and the blind everywhere.
People have a tendency to equate their self-importance with the job they are doing. It is not so in the Mystical Body. The job is not important; love is what is important.
Because God so loved us, he has also called us to co-redeem the world. It is very personal, and it makes life a glorious adventure. Even washing dishes becomes exciting. I can’t explain it, but to me everything that I do is an adventure inside of myself.
-Catherine Doherty (excerpted and adapted from a series of three unpublished talks, Dec 4-6, 1963)
Pray without ceasing!