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Thursday December 5 – Servant of All
Nicholas Roerich, Madonna Laboris 1933
Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Come, share my joy.                                 
- Matthew 25:21
Indeed, contemplative practice calls forth service – service that may outwardly look the same as we exhibited before intentionally embarking on the contemplative spiritual journey, but is now coming from a very different place.  
Fr. Thomas offers, "The most beautiful thing about the spiritual journey is that we're being gradually conformed to Christ-crucified and our humanity is being invited to surrender, turn itself over completely to God out of love and in the full consciousness that this is a service that's being offered to God for the whole human race, not just ourselves or our particular friends or companions or enemies. … The heart and the spiritual journey have to become big enough to take in everybody who has ever lived – past, present, and to come – because they are loved by God … and enduring suffering out of love for the healing of the unhealthy members of the Mystical Body of God."
- Thomas Keating, Today's video

"Self-gifting love is the true goal of contemplative practice, not self-actualization, and it is this love which gives us true poise and freedom from anxiety. We become free to witness courageously to the world and to respond appropriately and unreservedly. ...

"Be filled, and then you will be food to the world. ... Faith needn't make work for itself, for it knows to its marrow that 'all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.'"
- James Krueger, "This Restless Sea: Contemplative Practice and Prophetic Witness Amidst Violence," On Being
"I'm absolutely certain that anyone who commits themselves in any religion or no religion sincerely to the transformative process is changing the world more than they could by any other activity but they'll have activities recommended to them by the Spirit, if they're called to it, but the real work is to work on ourselves so we don't and can't fix anybody else. We can't even fix ourselves without grace and we become more and more certain of that through the experience of the prayer in our weakness and deprivations and absences of God and defeats, failures, humiliations, rejections. All of these things are treasures planned by God with great love to bring us little by little, not all at once —we would be blown away — but helping us to bear the trials of life as steppingstones in this transformative process to deepen our surrender. But you don’t really let go of anything when you accept God's will because [God] never takes anything away except to provide something better or to incorporate us in a project that … we couldn't do alone, and without the encouragement, help, and support of others, we couldn't rise to the generosity that is required to overcome certain … situations."
- Thomas Keating, "Surrendering to Love," God is Love: The Heart of All Creation
To Practice
Video Reflections: View the video "A Word About Service" from the DVD series: God is Love: The Heart of All Creation. This video is about seven minutes in length. You will find it and a transcript here. If you would like to stream or Chromecast this video, use this link.
Examen: Enter your inner room, reflect upon your service: What is mine to do?

Review:  Please see this chart comparing Helping vs. Serving.  This is from "A Word About Service," Guidebook to God is Love: The Heart of All Creation

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