Friend, Go Up Higher

Today, I will perform some act of service for another person, preferably for someone close to me
by Father James Swanson, LC | Source:

Luke 14:1, 7-11

Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a faith that never seeks to test you. I trust in you, hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even when it does not make sense to the way that I see things. May my love for you and those around me be similar to the love you have shown to me.
Lord, help me to pray well so I can transform myself more and more into the person you were thinking of when you made me. Only through deep, intimate contact with you can I see that person clearly and receive the graces I need to go forward in my transformation.

Petition: Lord, please help me to replace my selfishness with love, my pride with humility and my insecurity with trust in you.

1. I Want to Hear All about Myself: Sooner or later we all experience the displeasure of having to be around someone who is always promoting himself. Or pPerhaps we do it ourselves, without realizing how it disgusts the people around us. I remember working with one such fellow myself. He was the nicest guy in the world, otherwise, but he consistently and continually talked about himself. He was his own favorite subject. It was his only noticeable flaw, but a fatal one. You couldn’t sit down with him for a few minutes for coffee or anything without hearing about his latest exploits, what he thought about this or that topic &c. He was friendly, nice, outgoing, but as soon as he started on his favorite topic, you wanted to say, “Could you talk about something else, just this one time, as a personal favor?” I’m sure he didn’t realize it. Probably if you asked him if he talked about himself more than other people talk about themselvesdo, he would have thought answered that he talked about himself about the same amount as others do talk about themselves. He had plenty of other virtues, and I’m sure if he had rid himself of his major flaw he would have been one of the most well-liked people where I worked, b. But he didn’t even realize. He was always taking theputting himself in first place, and in our hearts we were always putting him in one of the last places.

2. Number One in your Heart: On the other hand, you sometimes run into people who don’t wave their own flag. They seem to exist to support and help others. Maybe you don’t always notice when they are around, but you notice the effects. Everyone is happier. There is less stress. People seem less worried. These people grease the wheels. If you need a hand, they’ll give it to you and you don’t even need to ask. Their support and friendship is aare givens. You know you can count on them. They are assets wherever they work because they know how to make the people around them more effective. Everybody likes them. They may not have the greatest personality or a lot of social skills, but nobody cares because the goodness seems to just ooze out of them. While they seem unassuming and unimportant, everyone who is around them prizes them highly. Without even realizing it, they are at the highest places in everyone’s hearts.

3. Will I Develop my Ambition or my Love?  Which kind of person am I? Am I a shameless self-promoter, always focused on getting as much for number Number one One as possible? This strategy might work well in a company where people are faceless widgets instead of personalities, where the bottom line is the bottom line, but it is never very successful in real life relationships. Perhaps I do what I can to help others whenever I can, to make others feel good. That is the way to real fulfillment. After all, Jesus said that those who wanted to be first must be the last of all and the servant of all. Have I been foolish enough to think that Jesus was saying that the way to achieve my ambitions is to serve? No way. Jesus isn’t concerned with us achieving ambitions, he is telling us how to be first in hearts. If you want to be first in hearts, be a servant of all. If you have the humility to serve others, you will attain to a high place in others’ hearts and w. When you take a low place, they will always raise you higher.

Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, I am always trying to serve myself and my ambitions, and you want me to be concerned with serving othershearts. Help me to be more focused on what really matters: – loving –, than on what the world prizes: – empty, self-serving actions. If I spent just a tenth of the time I spend on serving that I do on self-promotion, I would be much better off.

Resolution: Today, I will perform some act of service for another person, preferably for someone close to me, preferably without their notice. These are the acts that most deeply express love. Remember, if you expect something in return, even just thanks, it isn’t love, it’s business.

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