Not so long ago I'd had a dispiriting, discouraging day. Plans being made had been rubbished, and in the process I felt rubbished too. As I returned home, angry and dejected, thoughts flying around, one thought suddenly leapt out over all the others, and I was quickly, quietly, reminded of the need to remember the One for whom I am doing all this. And so I remembered the One to whom nobody is rubbish, the One who promised me undying love and fidelity, but never a rose garden... and a sense of calm began to return.
That night, as I reflected on the day, I remembered something else: I'm not called to be a success at anything - except making known God's love. Yes, like anyone else I want to be a success in my work, or those things I am asked to do for the Society; those areas where outputs can be defined, progress and achievement easily measured, praise given and glowingly received... and yet, that's not at the heart of being RSCJ. Successful projects, praise and prizes aren't mentioned in our Constitutions, but our call - to discover and make known the love of the Heart of Jesus - most certainly is.
It also occurred to me that Philippine would be a good companion in all this. She knew dejection and discouragement only too well; knew, rather too well, how it felt to be a failure rather than a success. As she watched others succeed, seemingly effortlessly, she suffered at the thought of how little she was doing for God and what a hindrance she must be to the Society's mission. And in her suffering she sought only to centre herself on God, remembering the One for whom she was doing all this, the One she desired above all else and for whom she had been prepared to go to the ends of the known earth.
And as I was writing and thinking about Philippine, some words by Gerard Manley Hopkins floated into my head. The poem is dedicated to Mary Immaculate, but the call contained within it is universal
This one work has to do—
Let all God’s glory through