Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Better Part

I've been in my household, The Servants of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, for over 9 months now, and at times I still feel like a baby member. Our charisms have so much treasure, and I am very slowly working through them, savoring every new discovery.

One of the things that really attracted me to this household was the blending of contemplation and service. We adore Jesus in the Eucharist in order to be strengthened to go out and serve others. The two are complementary, not mutually exclusive.

On my private blog I recently posted on the Five Love Languages, and how acts of service is my lowest receptive love language. Yet it's probably my highest expressive love language. I'm all about doing things for people.

There is nothing wrong with doing things for people and helping them when they need it; indeed, I think that my ability to be levelheaded and efficient in a crisis is a gift God intends me to use. Yet in this, as in all else, balance is key. Service is good when we use it to love others; it is a problem when we allow it to get in the way of loving others.

The Cobbler is a good teacher of this virtue. The vast majority of the time, he'd be perfectly content to just have me be with him. He doesn't keep me around because I'm useful; he keeps me around because he just plain likes having me around. (Or perhaps for the entertainment value. I'm slightly loony, you see.)

I'm trying really hard to apply this to other relationships too. I don't think it's a good thing for anybody if I go around feeling like I have to prove myself to people in order to have them love me. It gets in the way of just letting them love me. I'm willing to bet that the people who have so generously welcomed me into their lives didn't do it thinking I'd be handy to have about. I don't have to demonstrate that I'm "good enough" before they'll accept me.

Sometimes just being is good enough.

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