Our life has been shaped by the hustles and busyness of our many concerns with our life, ministries/apostolate. Many at times, we have forgotten what really matters in life. Most often, we drag ourselves to death to be able to accomplish or achieve a dream or ambition we so longed for, or a plan/project we hoped for but, in the end, only to realize in the greater scheme of our life it is useless, worthless, or to say the least, did not even help us to become a better person God has intended us to be.
This is one of the many reasons why at a certain crossings in our lives we feel empty. After all the stupendous labours and works we end up experiencing that dead-end feelings. Life becomes “is this all that I can do or is this all that matters” We become lost in our own world. It seems our life-compass has gone, I could imagine, from left to right swinging speedily. We begin to raise questions such as: where am I going? What choices should I take? Life from where I am now is meaningless, where is my joy? Where is my place on earth? etc..
It may take a while to have a felt-knowledge (with the grace of God) experience to be able to surrender to the great mystery of God’s love. It takes a lot of humility and poverty to come before the Lord Jesus and just bask in His love for us- for you. It demands nothing but our openness to accept the truth that the Lord Jesus came to be one with us, came for you and not for the things that you can do for him.
It is in this light that I would like to share with you one of the notes I have in my retreat. Whether you are a religious, a priest or married or single, the 10 Principles For Life Pattern outlined below will surely speak to you personally as it did to me.
PRINCIPLES FOR LIFE PATTERN (OF A RELIGIOUS)
( Adapted from W. Breuning and K. Hemmerle’s “Ten Principles for a Priest’s Life Pattern”)
- How I live as a religious, *(priest or married or single person) is more important than what I do as a religious, priest or married or single person
- What Christ does through me is more important than what I do by myself
- It is more important for me to live in union with my religious community *(family/workplace/parish works/company) than to be alone and absorbed in my work
- It is more important to work united with my fellow workers than to do the maximum number of jobs all by myself
- It is more important to concentrate on a few points and to influence others than to be hurried and incomplete in everything
- Joint action is more important than isolate action, no matter how perfect. Thus cooperation in work is more important than work, “communion” more important than action
- The cross is more important than efficiency; it is more fruitful
- The love I put into my work, however big or little, is more important than the quantity and result of my work.
- Openness to the whole (religious community, parish, diocese, universal Church, *workplace or ministry) is more important than a particular interest, no matter how important that may be.
- To be rooted in prayer and holiness is more important than to be successful and efficient in apostolic and ministerial life.
Principles for Life Pattern of a Religious – notes from Fr. Rod Salazar, SVD
*not included in the original notes