Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Duty of the Moment

As Christians, we understand that any decision we need to make is between the will of the Father for us in a given moment, or what we want to do for ourselves. The servant of God, Catherine Doherty, the foundress of Madonna House put it this way:

The duty of the moment is what you should be doing at any given time, in whatever place God has put you. If you have a child, your duty of the moment may be to change a dirty diaper. So you do it. But you don't just change that diaper, you change it to the best of your ability, with great love for both God and the child. Do you do it that way? You can see Christ in that child.
Or your duty of the moment may be to scrub your floors. Do you scrub your floors well? With great love for God? If not, do so. If you see to it that your house is well-swept, your food is on the table, and there is peace during meals, then there is a slow order that is established, and the immense tranquility of God's order falls upon you and your family, all of you together. Duty of the Moment by The Servant of God, Catherine Doherty

The duty of the moment. As Catherine has pointed out, when we have made the decision to do what it is that we are called to, do we do it well and with love, or do we do it begrudgingly? Do we act out of love and charity when we are doing things that we may not want to be doing? Are we peaceful with our decision?

The duties Catherine has pointed out to us are the little things in life that tend to be done with haste or while our mind and/or heart may be preoccupied with other things or "greater" things. The little things tend to be lost in the shuffle of life. And yet, our duty of the moment is to focus completely on the little things that comprise our daily life experiences.
Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master's happiness" Matthew 25:21
We can not do great things. We can only do little things with great love. Mother Theresa
When we do those little things in life with great love and devotion, putting our whole being into what we are doing we are essentially making our life an offering of love to those whom we are serving by doing them.

By responding in obedience and love to the duty of the moment we are, without realizing it, bringing great graces into the world. We are indeed being instruments of the Father and Jesus Christ in the world. But, most especially, the members of our family, our co-workers, or the stranger on the street are the recipients of the love of God!
When you do the duty of the moment, you do something for Christ. You make a home for him in the place where your family dwells. You feed him when you feed your family. You wash his clothes when you do their laundry. You help him in a hundred ways as a parent. Then, when the time comes and you appear before Christ to be judged, he will say to you, "I was hungry and you gave me to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me to drink. I was sick and you looked after me." (Mt 25:35-36) Get the picture? Duty of the Moment by The Servant of God, Catherine Doherty
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help us to not take for granted all of the little things that we need to do in our lives. Help us to do them with great love and kindness. Inspire in us the ability to discern the duty of the moment. Thank You Jesus for the gift of the life of Catherine Doherty and the gifts that she has brought to us in the Madonna House community and her writings.

Pax vobis,


The Servant of God Catherine Doherty's Duty of the Moment article.

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