1 Sm 1:1 – 8

There was a man once called Elcana, that lived at Ramathaim-Sophim, in the hill-country of Ephraim; he was an Ephraimite born, descended from Suph through Jeroham, Eliu and Thohu. He had two wives, one called Anna, the other Phenenna, and this Phenenna had borne him sons, whereas Anna was childless. Never a feast-day would he keep in his own city; he must be at Silo, worshipping the Lord of hosts, and offering him sacrifice; there dwelt the Lord’s priests, Ophni and Phinees, the two sons of Heli. When the time came for Elcana’s sacrifice, Phenenna must have many portions, for a son here, a daughter there, and he was sad at heart as he gave Anna her single portion, for Anna he loved dearly. Why had the Lord denied her motherhood? And still she must endure bitter persecution from her rival, that did not scruple to make her childlessness a matter of reproach; year after year, when they went up to the Lord’s temple for the feast, it was ever the same. In tears she sat, with no heart for eating, while her husband Elcana tried to comfort her. Anna, he said, what need to weep, what need to deny thyself food? What sorrow weighs on thy heart? Is it not worth the love of ten sons, the love I bear thee?

In Conversation with God:

It is in the midst of our work, of our ordinary occupations, that Jesus invites us to follow him, so as to make him the centre of our very existence and serve him in the task of evangelising the world. God draws us from the shadows of our ignorance, our stumbling and groping through history, and, no matter what our occupation in the world, He calls us with a strong voice, as He once called Peter and Andrew: ‘Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.’ 

He chooses us where we are, and leaves us – the majority of Christians, the lay people – just where we were: in our family, in our own job, in the cultural or sports association that we belong to… so that in the very environment in which we are found we should love him and make him known through family ties, through relationships at work and among friends…

What we do out of love becomes a serious commitment for us, and is charged with meaning…

… work has got to be a prayer – for it would be a great pity if she only peeled potatoes, instead of sanctifying herself as she peels them well. Prayer is a way of being with Our Lord throughout the day, and a great opportunity for practising virtues… 

The more aware we are of our intention to convert our work into an instrument of redemption, the better we will do it materially, and the greater the help we will be giving to the whole Church. The nature of some types of work that demand great concentration makes it difficult to turn one’s mind in the course of it frequently to God, but if we get used to talking to him, he will be like an appropriate background music for everything we do. If we work in this way, work and interior life will not interrupt each other, just as the beating of the heart does not interrupt our attention to our activities whatever they may be. 


Our love should always be bearing fruit – the fruits of charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity.


… i thank You God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes, i thank You God, i thank You God, i thank You God, i thank You God for most this amazing day… i who have died am alive again today… and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birthday of life and love and wings: and of the gay great happening illimitably earth… i who have died am alive again today… i thank You God… how should any human being doubt You… how should tasting touching any human merely being doubt You… how should tasting touch hearing seeing breathing any human merely being doubt You… doubt unimaginable You… lifted from the no of all nothing, doubt You… now the ears of my ears awake… now the eyes of my eyes are opened… i thank You God, i thank You God, i thank You God, i thank You… awake, opened, i thank You God…


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