This article is published in Give Us This Day from Liturgical Press, August 2019.
Awake to Grace
Every morning I find myself among the foolish. I want to stay awake for God but my human intentions are weak. My regrets and fears make me drowsy. I pray among all the foolish for God’s open door. With all of my emotional and spiritual obstacles, I understand that others cannot help me on such a path. I cannot borrow virtues as a cup of sugar from a friend. I must face God in the truth of my life.
The oil in the story of the wise and foolish virgins cannot be duplicated or given away. This oil is grace itself, offering us a place in God’s love. Each of us is responsible to God by showing up in our own life. This is wisdom. No other person can take this risk for us. No spouse or child can show us how to let go of the past or to surrender to the love of God in our sin or infirmity. When five foolish virgins beg for oil, the others cannot give them such gifts of readiness, prayer, or atonement. We all wait with our own gifts and foibles for the door to be opened.
God longs to awaken us today to love and gratitude. God’s holy name becomes our thankfulness. On many days I want be among the wise, changing my clumsy motivations. Today, I search for love within my own heart, accepting the dying and rising of Christ Jesus. For this I long to stay awake.
Fr. Ronald Raab
Ronald Patrick Raab, CSC, is pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Colorado Springs. Learn more at http://www.ronaldraab.com.