Friday, September 21, 2007

Choose God, not the works of God

Those are the words of Cardinal Francis Xavier Van Thuan, the now deceased cardinal from Vietnam who spent 13 years in communist prisons. 9 of those years were in solitary confinement.

At one point he had gotten discouraged, thinking of all the works he had to leave behind in his diocese. In prison, he could not do anything directly for his people and this weighed on his heart.

But one night he had an illumination from God. A voice spoke in the depth of his heart, "Why do you torment yourself? You must learn to distinguish between God and the works of God. Everything you have done and desire to continue doing--the formation of seminarians, men and women religious, laity and youth, pastoral visits, building schools....--all of these are excellent works. They are God's works, but they are not God! If God wants you to leave all of these works, place them in God's hands immediately and have confidence in him. God will accomplish things infinitely better than you.... You have chosen God alone, not his works!"

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