Today is the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas: January 28. Also a Saturday. So, every Saturday morning, the British Jesuits offer an Ignatian Examen on their prayer app “Pray-as-you-go.” This morning they tailored the examen around the issue of theology in honor of the feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the most renowned theologian in Christendom. They asked in the meditation to recall a time this past week when a matter of theology or teaching stirred us.
So as I sat reflecting in this past week, I do remember a moment when I wanted a word to move me from sitting to action. I wanted a way to transition from prayer into the work that I have before me. The word that came to the mind was “serve.” This helped me to get up and get going, regardless of how I feel, regardless of what I think, regardless of what physical ailment now bothers me. Serve!
Why did I choose that word? I went back to Ignatius' First Principle and Foundation and recalled that "man was created to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord." I also thought back on the old Baltimore catechism question: “Why did God create me?” God created me to know, love, and serve him and to spend eternity with Him.
So, I was taken by that one word serve. That's a good mantra or koan to get me up and move ahead. Every morning I try to reverence God, I try to praise Him, and then I need to get out of the chair, pick up my coffee cup, and put my prayer inspiration into real action. To serve!
This word can be used to fight procrastination and these haunting feelings of lassitude or inertia. And so, on this feast of Saint Thomas, it is not a bad idea to take the theology and make it work. Serve!
PS: This little posting would not have happened unless I actually stopped the prayer and moved to the computer. Hope these words do in fact “serve” someone. Peace.