Prayer Service by John Henry Cardinal Newman

I often hear talk about one’s “mission in life”. It seems very important that I somehow “find my calling” or “follow my bliss”. I am deeply worried about this and a little miffed because first, this is a lot to live up to. Second, how do I find “my calling” and once I do what if I’m wrong and it really isn’t laying out on a hammock in Kauai drinking a Pina Colada smelling coconut suntan oil with a gentle breeze blowing? Third, could my “mission in life” be as simple as sweeping up after my children every single time they eat anything because no crumb ever (and I mean ever) lands on their plates? Because people, at this point I’m beginning to think that is why I am here. Oh God, what if I am here for something small like sweeping? Is that enough?

The following prayer was read by the Bishop at my parish during mass one Sunday. When I heard him recite it I thought to myself  this could be the answer; what if my bliss is God, my calling to love him, and my mission to follow him? Even while sweeping I can do this.. If God is my passion then he is in every crumb on the floor, in the hands that dropped the crumbs, in the heart that cooked what became the crumbs. Maybe sweeping crumbs is enough for “He does nothing in vain. He knows what he is about.”

God has created me
to do him some definite service.
He has committed some work to me
which he has not committed to another.
I have my mission—
I may never know it in this life;
but i should be told it in the next.
I am a link in a chain,
a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for naught.
I shall do good.
I shall do his work.
I shall be an angel of peace,
a preacher of truth in my own place
while not intending it—

if I do but keep his commandments.
Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve him.
He does nothing in vain.
He knows what he is about.

He may take away my friends;
he may throw me among strangers;
he may make me feel desolate,
make my spirits sink,
hide my future from me–

still he knows what he is about.
Therefore, I will trust him.

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