A Catholic Monthly Magazine


by Bill Lambert

by Bill Lambert

I’ve been plagued with religious scruples all my life. They run in my family. If I give way to them they become more demanding ... expecting my daily living to be some kind of saintly sacrifice which is totally beyond the efforts of ordinary folk like me. The trap is to think these impulses come from God, but I’ve little doubt they come from the other side to confuse us. Remember, the devil is a spiteful liar.

I’ve worked out the following guidelines for myself, and hope they may help others.
God has given us all kinds of gifts: special talents, individual graces, relationships, goods and enjoyments. I believe that for most of us he doesn’t expect us to give them up and toss them back at him. All he asks is that we share our good things with others – our time, our possessions, our blessings, our experiences - in a spirit of love.

The thing is to be on the lookout for opportunities to share – visit a housebound person, invite a lonely person to Christmas dinner, give a lift to an old woman lugging a bag along the street. It will soon become a fulfilling habit and offer a host of opportunities to touch others with the finger of God’s love. You’ll feel God’s love flowing through you like an electric current.
You can show them where your kindness comes from by making a habit of saying: “God bless you”.
All Jesus asks is that we take up our crosses and follow him, whether they are family relationships, physical or health problems, needs we can’t fulfil – or a personal weakness like those damn scruples. He wants us to take control of our wills and our lives, and hand it over to him.

Accepting and carrying our crosses doesn’t mean we submit to them helplessly. It’s like the alcoholics’ prayer … God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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