Traffic was horrific this morning. It can be such a soul-sucking thing! So I called my wife to complain about the traffic and she said, “I hear you. I sympathize, but I’ve got to call you on to holiness because I love you.” I love my wife for that.
As I was on the phone with her, she told me a story that she recently heard of this seminarian who was serving with the Missionaries of Charity. He was scrubbing the floor in a bathroom and complaining while doing it. He was in a horrible mood. A Missionary of Charity walked by him, laughing. He asked her, “What are you doing? Why are you laughing?” She said, “I’m laughing because you’re totally wasting your time.” He asked, “What are you talking about?” She said, “If you’re not doing your work with love, you’re totally wasting your sacrifice.”
Jesus talks about fasting in the Gospel of Matthew (below). As the Lent approaches, know that the penance that the season entails gives us the chance to offer up our sufferings to God. Whether it’s the suffering of your everyday life or the things you’re choosing to sacrifice in Lent, do everything with love. Don’t ever waste your suffering! Offer it to God, intentionally, as a prayer. Otherwise, we’re just wasting our time.
Then the disciples of John approached him and said, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus answered them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. (Matthew 9:14-15, NAB from the USCCB)