At a recent diocesan event, Fr. Kenneth Malley, Pastor of St. Timothy Catholic Church in Lutz, FL asked me how I stay full. How did I find inspiration in order to be full enough to minister to others. I wish I had been wise enough to turn the table on him, but instead I fumbled through a few clichéd answers. In reflecting on his question for the past few weeks, here is a more comprehensive answer:
So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees. -Hebrews 12:12
I say I will not mention him, I will no longer speak in his name. But then it is as if fire is burning in my heart, imprisoned in my bones; I grow weary holding back, I cannot! -Jeremiah 20:9
For God did not give you a spirit of fear but one of power, love and self-control. -2 Timothy 1:7
Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more. -Luke 12:48
“I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! -Luke 12:49
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. -Hebrews 12:1-2
You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. -Matthew 5:14
Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all those engaged in selling and buying there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. -Matthew 21:12
Therefore, my brothers, let us set an example for our kindred. Their lives depend on us, and the defense of the sanctuary, the temple, and the altar rests with us. -Judith 8:24
Here are two:
"I couldn't look up, but God looked down."
"I won't waste any more time. My life's Yours, it is not mine. Use me, Lord, no matter what's at stake."
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can begin it. Boldness has genius, magic and power in it. Begin it now.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.
-Blessed Mother Teresa
Frodo: I can't do this, Sam.
Sam: I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it's only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo... and it's worth fighting for.
-J.R.R. Tolkien, from The Two Towers
So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees...
...and let us continue.