PRAYER: It Would Be So Easy, Lord…., by Michel Quoist

It Would Be So Easy, Lord...., by Michel Quoist

It would be so easy, Lord,
to abandon the struggle for a better world…
this world which is still being born!
It would be so easy
to give up the exhausting meetings,
the discussions,
the reports,
the innumerable actions and commitments
that are supposed to be essential,
and the evenings of utter weariness,
when I am more and more doubtful
about how they can possibly help my brothers and sisters.

It would be so easy
to listen to those voices around me,
voices that seem wise, friendly
and even affectionate,
voices saying to me:
“You’re getting excited,”
“You’re banging your head against a wall,”
“You’re missing the point,”
voices whispering insidiously behind my back:
“He enjoys that,”
“That’s his temperament,”
“He doesn’t like to be passed over.”

It would be so easy
to give way to discouragement,
and to dress it up in the good and pious intentions
of forgotten obligations
and broken promises.

It would be so easy then
to withdraw to my own home,
to have free evenings again,
and weekends to enjoy,
and children’s laughter,
and my wife’s arms.

It would be so easy to sit down
and bandage my wounds after too many hard fights,
to rest my tired legs,
my arms, my head,
and my heart,
and to find peace far from the din of battle,
and to listen at last to the silence
in which you speak to the faithful — so they say —
far away from the noise.

It would be easier, Lord,
to stand aside and not to get my hands dirty,
to watch others fighting and debating,
to advise them and to complain about them,
to judge them. . . and to pray for them.
It would be easier. . .
but I ask you, Lord,
is that really what you want of me?
I no longer know.
I no longer know.

Lord, enlighten me, help me.
I no longer know what I should do,
because in the concert of voices around me,
wise voices,
friends’ voices,
and those of my dear ones,
I often hear another voice,
deeper and more serious,
challenging me, persistently,
in the depths of my troubled heart:
“You are taking the Lord’s place.
Only he can change men and women and the world.
Abandon yourself to him
and he will do what you,
in your arrogance,
thought you were capable of doing.”

Is this your voice, Lord?
I don’t know any longer.
I don’t know any longer.
. . . But if this is really what you want, this evening,
I place my resignation in your hands!

I refuse to accept your resignation, says the Lord.
Don’t listen to your voices,
they don’t come from me.
I will never take your place,
because it is I who have given it to you.
Nothing will be done without you and without your brothers and sisters,
because I have wanted you to be responsible together
for humankind and for the world.
But nothing will be done without me either. . .
and perhaps you have forgotten that.

Go now, little one, and sleep in peace,
and tomorrow,
you and I,
I and you,
both of us with your sisters and brothers,
we will take up the struggle again.

Then Jesus’s mother and brothers arrived.  They stood outside the house and sent in a message, asking for him.  A crowd was sitting round Jesus, and they said to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, and they want you.”  Jesus answered, “Who is my mother?  Who are my brothers?”  He looked at the people sitting round him and said, “Look!  Here are my mother and my brothers!  Whosoever does what God wants him to do is my brother, my sister, my mother.”  (Mark 3:31-35)

Not everyone who calls me, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only those who do what my father in Heaven wants them to do.”  (Matthew 7:21)

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