Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Brother Cosmas Rubencamp is an ordinary man, no pretensions, no desire to be over others, happy to be “in his place.” He lives a totally unspectacular life. To me he epitomizes Theodore James Ryken’s image of a Brother who is formed by God through the common, ordinary, unspectacular flow of everyday life. There are many other Brothers who do the same, like Paul Feeney, Richard Mazza, Bonaventure Scully, Tom Murphy, Paul Murray, etc. etc. etc. But I focus on Cos because he is Regional Coordinator for my Associate group, plus Richard and I work with him on a committee for Maison Fortuné Orphanage in Hinche Haiti (where Brothers Harry Eccles, Mike McCarthy, and Bill Griffin live). What Cos does behind the scenes is nothing short of amazing. By his own admission he has “fallen in love with the service of God.” He might not say this, but I believe Cos has listened to the voice of God, as today’s verse from Jeremiah summons us to do, and has made some of God’s poorest people his own.
In my own life as an Associate, listening to God’s voice in daily prayer is a priority and it’s one of the promises Associates make. Day by ordinary day, I listen and I believe that God is calling me to reach out to the poor and marginalized (the second Associate promise) in new and different ways. Cos is a great example because though “retired,” he is working daily to help 250 children share their lives with one another, be fed and cared for, and receive an education. An amazing feat done in an unspectacular way! I am privileged to share this call to service with him and it keeps me “in communion with the Brothers” (the third Associate promise).
As you begin your prayer today, use your journal or a notepad to list at least ten ordinary things you do every day. Beside each one, jot down some small way that you might be able to turn this action into service for others. If it already does that, mark it with a star. (The more you listen to God’s voice, the more you will be attuned to ways your ordinary life can be transformed into service for others.) Now choose one of your ten items and picture yourself handing it to God in prayer as you silently “listen” for ten minutes or so.
God, You are our ground and our origin. We ask that You give us the grace to accept the “givens” of our life and to face the reality of who we truly are, so that we may return with gratitude to an innocence and nakedness that allows us to see, through new eyes, the incommensurable brightness of your creation. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Your Son and our brother. Amen.