What Can I Do?

How often do we respond to a crisis or emergency with those words? In a monastery, where we own nothing and neither our time nor ‘our bodies and wills’ are at our own disposal, as St Benedict says, it can be particularly hard. Of course, sometimes the desire to help is more a reflection of the desire to quieten our own conscience than anything nobler, but, by and large, the will to do good to others is there. We pray, we give whatever we can, and we hope for the best. What we actually do may seem little enough: a kind word, a smile, picking a few items of litter from the verge, restraining ourselves from replying to an angry tweet. The point is, life is made up of little things. Most of us are not in a position to do much about the world’s gravest problems, but there are plenty nearer home that we can tackle. So, if I have any message at all for this morning, as we come to the end of the fourth week of Lent, it is a simple one. Be encouraged. Be a prophet for our times, leading by the example of doing what you can, when you can, as you can, and placing everything in the hands of God to bring to fruition.

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