Prayer Reflection: Fidelity is Fecundity

November 14, 2005

Today in Rome, we are celebrating the beatification of Charles de Foucauld (1858-1916). A solitary man who sought God, replied to the voice of God calling him to be in the wilderness. His life was transformed by His grace. My Jesus, allow me your grace to transform my life also. Let me hear your voice more clearly amidst the noises I hear, day in and day out. Just a while ago, before I went here in the chapel of St. Emerentienne, as I was leaving my room, I noticed that the lights in the toilet were turned on. I felt that pull in me that, to conserve energy I should turn them off, but this bad habit of rationalizing to excuse myself started again. I started thinking that probably someone was inside. But your voice told me to better check it because if there's no one, it's a huge waste of electricity. Plus, it definitely won't cost me much time to check. And so I did. I checked and found that none was there. Lord Jesus, even in small things I see clearly how you always make an effort to guide me. If such be your designs in small things, there is nothing by which I could even think that in big responsibilities, you do not guide my life. The problem really is that I fail to turn an attentive ear to your voice. And even if sometimes I hear your voice, this habitual mechanism of rationalizing to excuse myself commences. And so, another opportunity to conform my will to yours passes unproductively. Allow me not only the grace to hear your voice, but likewise, transform my heart so that it will only seek that which you wish. Allow my pleasure to be your pleasure. Transform me inwardly, from within, by your presence within me.

Today's gospel reading (Mt 25, 14-30) is about the time of reckoning, that at the close of the day, we present ourselves before our friend Jesus and offer to him the fruits of our labors. And he desires that at the end of the day, we have become productive. Not simply for the sake of being productive, but that whatever God had given us, we have made good use of them, and everything put to good use multiplies abundantly. God calls us to be faithful to him, be vigilant for his coming, but it is not a passive vigilance, or a barren fidelity. To be attached to Jesus is to be attached to a trunk of profound productivity; that as a branch to this tree, we cannot but bear fruit, for this trunk is teeming with the natality of grace that exceeds passivity and inaction. Fidelity is fecundity. We cannot remain barren in Jesus who is life. Blessed Charles de Foucauld stove to remain faithful to God, and behold, we are reaping the bountiful fruit of his fidelity--by the hundred fold.

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