The driver | Inquirer Opinion
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The driver

The story is told about two really old friends who went out for a drive. They had a trip down memory lane, and it was fine until the one driving beat a yellow light, and then beat a red light. At the third intersection, they almost got into an accident. The one on the passenger’s seat said: “Friend, slow down. Drive safely, or we will both get killed!” Whereupon the one driving said: “Oh, am I the one driving?”

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In today’s Gospel (Lk. 14, 25-33), Jesus tells us that He is on the driver’s seat, and anyone who desires to journey with Him must learn to trust, obey, and follow Him even if that means parting with one’s loved ones, renouncing one’s possessions, and carrying one’s own cross. The cost of discipleship is high. But so is its reward.

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“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple.” It goes without saying that the cross is a part of any disciple’s life. If there is no cross, if there is no persecution, deprivation, even humiliation, in a disciple’s life, he is not a true disciple, but a plain opportunist or a user. Remember, discipleship is not about us, but about Him. He calls us, we respond, according to His terms and conditions.

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“Who is driving?” Let us ask ourselves today if there is someone greater than us from whom we take instructions and marching orders. Is there someone we report to, listen to, and kneel down to? Please remember, there is a God, and you and I are not Him. Let God be God. Let man be man.

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Sharing with you this text message from Fr. Ric Dumas, SVD: “Long ago, persons who sacrificed their spirits, their lives, their identities, their wealth, and even their laughter were called saints. But now, they are called husbands!” Levity aside, the key word for discipleship is “sacrifice.” If there is no sacrifice, discipleship boils down to “one for the money, two for the show.”

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Speaking of saints, it is with great joy that we thank the Lord today for giving us Saint Mother Teresa. What a privilege to have lived in the lifetime of the “Living Saint.” She was a disciple who just kept going, and kept following her Master in spite of persecution and deprivation, and even spiritual dryness. Thank you, Saint Mother Teresa, for showing us the way, and for reminding us that it is possible to make a difference in this life.

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“Never abandon prayer even when it seems pointless to pray” (Pope Francis). A true disciple never stops praying no matter what. Mother Teresa never stopped praying even when she went through long deserts in her spiritual journey, devoid of consolation from her Lord and Master. Saint Mother Teresa, help us to pray, pray more, and pray on!

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Are you praying less, or have you stopped praying? Maybe it is because you are too busy (no time!) or you belittle the power of prayer (no humility), or maybe because you think praying is boring and useless (no patience). Or maybe you get discouraged that, despite your prayers, you still have sins and problems (no results!). Pray. Pray more. Pray on.

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Happy birthday, Mama Mary! What made this lowly woman, this woman who had a doctorate degree in crosses and sufferings, survive and excel was her deeply prayerful life. Let us follow her more closely and faithfully in the road of prayer, and we, too, will survive it all.

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Sept. 8 is also the birthday of the Society of the Divine Word, or SVD. We, Divine Word missionaries, belong to a religious-missionary congregation that was founded by Saint Arnold Janssen on Sept. 8, 1875, in Germany. By God’s grace, may we continue to serve more—and yes, to pray more!

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Picture yourself face to face with God at the end of your life, and He asks you: “Who/what was your master when you were still alive?” What will you tell Him there and then? “My master was —-” (fill in the blank).

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Here are some worthy quotes from our saint of the day, Mother Teresa, in our journey to God’s heart:

“Some people come in your life as blessings; some people come in your life as lessons.”

“It is not how much we do but how much love we put in the doing; it is not how much we give, but how much love we put in the giving.”

“A sacrifice, to be real, must hurt, and must empty ourselves. Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your weakness.”

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, You are our Lord and Master. You are on the driver’s seat. We are Your unworthy servants. Amen.

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TAGS: driving, Mama Mary, Mother Teresa, Prayer, Sacrifice
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