Cardinal Van Thuvan was in jail for 13 years. The Vietnam Government had imprisoned him without proper trial. It was only 7 years since he was a bishop. He had a lot of dreams and plans for the Diocese. But in 1976 he was imprisoned. For 9 years he was put in isolation in a room without windows unaware of the day or night passing by. The incessant heat and dire loneliness agonized him.
Beyond them he was deeply deprived about the painful situation of the diocese and the people….oh! A shepherd less herd! He was disturbed about how the seminarians, schools and other institutions were working in his absence. Pondering over all these took away hid hunger and sleep. He feared that he might become insane.
One day he heard a gentle voice from the depth of his heart “why do you persecute yourself”? Understand the difference between God and Godly deeds. All the works you have done and going to do are worthwhile before God. They are indeed godly deeds. But they are not God. If God asks you to forsake such activities you must do it and believe in the providence of God. God could do better than you. You have chosen only God not His works.”
These thoughts changed the attitude and mind setup of Cardinal Van Thuvan. Excessive attachment towards our duties and responsibilities can make it an idol. When our duties and responsibilities become an intoxicant it may be reprieved of the joyfulness of God.
If we are not able to discern between God and godly deeds even our spiritual life could shrivel up. When we think that nothing would work without me that becomes pride. God can work through anyone to get His works done by His grace. None is inevitable to do His work.
It can happen in our family, ministry, society and everywhere .When we are not ready to share anything, when we feel that we are inevitable factor we are forgetting God. So, it is time to choose God again. If you want God’s will to be fulfilled in your life you may have to forget your plans and positions. As Mary who even gave her virginity for God’s will our prime aim should be thy will. When Mary obeyed God she became the mother of whole nation.
Prayer: Oh! God give us the grace to discern between You and Your activities. Save us from the character of loving Your works than You. Bless us to choose You as the prime factor in our life. In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
– – – written by Benny Punnathara