When Sacrifice is Chosen for Us: Weekly Message for 06-18-2024

Dear Friends,

Every Christian to some extent understands the concept of sacrifice. The dictionary describes sacrifice as the surrendering of something for someone else.

We choose which sacrifices we are going to make to help ourselves grow in holiness. We choose to not eat certain foods or drink certain beverages when we know they are harmful to us. We choose how we are going to tithe from our income to support the Church and which local charities we favor. So often, we view ourselves as generous because we choose to offer this or that.

But what happens when the need for personal sacrifice is chosen for us? What happens when the dreaded diagnosis of cancer or dementia or a child with special needs or the loss of a job are thrust upon us? No one chooses that.

One of my favorite authors is Jacques Philippe. In his book Interior Freedom, he shares his insights regarding choosing sacrifices or consenting to those chosen for you. He believes true inner freedom comes when we consent to that which we would not have chosen for ourselves or our loved ones. Especially when it comes to suffering. St. Therese, in one of her notebooks, reminds us we can only suffer one moment at a time. We often dwell on the past and fear the idea of suffering in the future, but all we really have is today.

Every day we have the choice to willingly accept opportunities to sacrifice our will in the present moment or fight against it. Fr Philippe says, “Hearts anxious about tomorrow can’t be open to the grace of the present moment.” What is most important is not what
we can do for the Lord, but leaving space for what God can do in us when we consent to a sacrifice we didn’t freely choose.

Yours in the Heart of Jesus,


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Hear Fr. Bartunek’s thoughts on
our trials in this brief video:

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Consider with the Fathers how
“The Lord of the Rings”
characters embraced sacrifice.

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