I just finished the most beautiful book about Mother Teresa by Monsignor Leo Maasburg (the priest who accompanied her all over the world, translating for her) called, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, a personal portrait. A beautifully written memoir, I completely recommend it.
In it (somewhere, I can't seem to find it!) he quotes Mother Teresa as saying she wanted to go to Heaven with "empty hands." At first I thought this was because she was so humble, she was saying that everything she did was done by God (and not herself) so she would arrive with nothing. Or maybe she wanted to show Jesus that she gave everything away that He had given her while on earth (which would be in keeping with her vow of poverty).
But then I thought of something else. Mother Teresa was never about herself. She always focused on God. So if she approached God with empty hands, she wouldn't be thinking about what she was bringing at all. Rather, she was preparing herself to be able to accept whatever and however much God Himself wanted to give her.
It was only with empty hands that she would be able to hold all that God wanted to give her. Anything else would be in the way.
Then I thought about all the stuff that fills my hands (err...I think my arms too, and I might be juggling some stuff with my foot), things that make it impossible to hold what God wants to give me.
My worries, my fears, my sins (pride!!), and my expectations (and all the other useless things which I frequently scramble to hold on to) are the exact things that are making it impossible for me to receive Him.
I think, as I age, God is saying, more and more, "Let go. Let me." And I want to. And maybe you do too. But where do we begin? This is a good start: a willing heart.
And God wants our heart...our hands...our all. His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in our weakness.
“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 own weakness.”
“A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves. The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace.”