Friday, February 04, 2011

Lions In Hallways?

I read in the paper one day that a man from Colorado found a mountain lion in his house. He was able to get out of the house and to call for help. A few moments later they were able to photograph this bold cat jumping out of the window and disappearing into the darkness of the night.

“Do not look for lions in hallways.”

This was a phrase I remember reading in one of St. Jose Maria Escriva’s books. Given the incident I read in the paper, it doesn’t seem to be so impossible to find unwelcomed guests like this in unlikely places these days. It sounded funny to me when I first read this phrase but then I recognized the meaning behind the words.

It was spoken in the context of finding opportunities to offer God service or sacrifices. Sometimes we are so caught up in trying to look for that great moment to give glory to God.
We look for that sacrifice that will really make us feel we are doing something noble and admirable. We search near and far for that perfect chance to unleash every ounce of our charitable energy. We go about the hallways of life looking for these “lions.”

What are the chances that we are going to meet one? Except for some select few, most of us will have to contend with the little creatures of annoyances: buzzing bees of distractions brought about by worldly worries, stinging bites of bodily aches and pains, and the unpalatable company of hard to swallow and challenging personalities. But in God’s mysterious design he either sends or permits them to exercise us in virtue. I read from a spiritual writer that virtue is not really virtue until tested by a temptation against it.

The lessons I learned are these: to be patient with the little trials I encounter each day. To be patient with myself when I don’t rise to the occasion of virtue. To allow myself to be shown my littleness and weakness without being discouraged. To be content with offering God little gifts of love. To be grateful to receive these opportunities of growth believing in faith that they do us good in building character. Leave God to find the sacrifice that pleases Him but to be alert to recognize it when it is being asked of me. In short, let the lions stay where they should: with the lion-keeper.

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