If you have clicked on the “What I’m Reading” tab, you know that one of the books I’m currently reading is We, the Ordinary People of the Streets, the writings of Madeleine Delbrêl, a French woman who lived from 1904-1964. Similar to Dorothy Day, she converted from atheism to Catholicism which “led her to a life of social work in the atheistic, Communist-dominated city of Ivry-sur-Seine, France.” Many of her insights are applicable to us who live in a secular-dominated world. Here’s some of what I read this morning:
We, the ordinary people of the streets, are certain we can love God as much as he might desire to be loved by us.
We don’t regard love as something extraordinary but as something that consumes. We believe that doing little things for God is as much a way of loving him as doing great deeds. Besides, we’re not very well informed about the greatness of our acts. There are nevertheless two things we know for sure: first, whatever we do can’t help but be small; and second, whatever God does is great.
And so we go about our activities with a sense of great peace.
. . . .
Each tiny act is an extraordinary event, in which heaven is given to us, in which we are able to give heaven to others.
It makes no difference what we do, whether we take in hand a broom or a pen. Whether we speak or keep silent. Whether we are sewing or holding a meeting, caring for a sick person or tapping away at a typewriter.
Whatever it is, it’s just the outer shell of an amazing inner reality: the soul’s encounter, renewed at each moment, in which, at each moment, the soul grows in grace and becomes ever more beautiful for her God.
Is the doorbell ringing? Quick, open the door! It’s God coming to love us. Is someone asking us to do something? Here you are! . . . it’s God coming to love us. Is it time to sit down for lunch? Let’s go–it’s God coming to love us!
Let’s let him.