One day towards the end of his life, when Fr. Rick Thomas was sick and unable to speak, a few of us were there praying for him. He felt spiritually attacked that day and asked us to read the Word of God out loud. As we did that, and also while taking care of his physical needs, he wrote on a paper on a clip board….”Quit or Not?”
“No, we aren’t going to quit,” we told him. “We will keep praying here for you” (even though we were pretty tired). So we kept on going.
Quit or not?
Those words have stuck with me through the years since his death 10 years ago. I keep them written on the mirror in my room and in my heart. Why? Well because we live in culture that too often quits when the going gets tough.
This past Sunday the priest at the Mass I was at spoke about how Mother Teresa left her family and her homeland to live out her call to serve the poorest of the poor and even start a new order in obedience to Christ. She persevered through numerous trials, even when she herself was going through a spiritual dark night. She remained committed to her vow and calling with joy. She didn’t quit, and today we have St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, another spiritual hero. We also have the “Missionaries of Charity” who carry on the work she began with the poorest of the poor all over the world today.
Tempted to quit
We all are tempted at times to quit. We may be tempted to quit on our life calling: whether it be marriage, our children, religious life, or living single for Christ. There’s this antagonizing voice whispering, or maybe even shouting to us, “You don’t need this. Throw in the towel and find a better life. It doesn’t matter.”
But it does matter!
When you are tempted to quit, call out to God with all your heart, and tell Him you really need Him to help you right now. Get help from a spiritual director who will speak truth to you. Trials are the times we grow. We need those times to get purified and strong. They are the precious part of the spiritual journey, when we bravely learn to pick up our cross, die to ourselves and follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
Not only that; let us exult, too, in our hardships, understanding that hardship develops perseverance, and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope, and a hope which will not let us down, because the love of God has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which has been given to us.
Quit or Not?
Mary Ann / Mother Hen