I can never be thrown away

Blessed John Cardinal Henry Newman wrote a marvelous prayer of acceptance and devotion to his creator which ought to serve as a model for any and all of us to follow. In it he acknowledges and affirms that God created each of us for a unique purpose:

God knows me and calls me by my name.…
God has created me to do Him some definite service;
He has committed some work to me
        which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission—I never may know it in this life,
        but I shall be told it in the next.

Somehow I am necessary for His purposes…
I have a part in this great work;
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection
      between persons.
He has not created me for naught. I shall do good,
     I shall do His work;
I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth
     in my own place, while not intending it,
     if I do but keep His commandments
     and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore I will trust Him.
     Whatever, wherever I am,
     I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him;
In perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him;
If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be
     necessary causes of some great end,
     which is quite beyond us.
He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life,
     He may shorten it;
     He knows what He is about.
     He may take away my friends,
     He may throw me among strangers,
     He may make me feel desolate,
     make my spirits sink, hide the future from me—
     still He knows what He is about.…
Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see—
     I ask not to know—I ask simply to be used.[1]

The Creation of Man

The Creation of Man

In a recent Faith Forum article a panel of religious leaders were presented with the following propositional calculus: “Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-55) of Denmark, said to be an influential contributor to modern religious thought and who is considered the father of existentialism, wrote in 1835: ‘The crucial thing is to find a truth which is truth for me, to find the idea for which I am willing to live and die.’” The panelists were then asked “Have you found your truth?[2] The responses were both sadly predictable and extremely disconcerting. What was especially distressing was that not a single member of the panel argued that the question was based upon a fallacious premise.

A central theme for Kierkegaard was that truth was subjective rather than objective. He promoted existential nihilism which held that life has no intrinsic meaning or value and posited that a single human or even the entire human species is insignificant, without purpose and unlikely to ever change.

Tragically, the panelists failed to contest Kierkegaard’s assertion that truth was, like beauty, in the eye of the beholder; your truth is not my truth nor is my truth your truth. If only one or more of the panelists had responded “God has created me to do Him some definite service; …I am necessary for his purposes…. I can never be thrown away.

 


[1] John Cardinal Henry Newman, Meditations and Devotions, “Meditations on Christian Doctrine”, “Hope in God—Creator”, March 7, 1848.
[2] Rajan Zed, Faith Forum, Reno Gazette-Journal, Sunday, May 17, 2015.

Deacon Chuck

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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