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Spiritual Reflection - July 2024

The Sin of Forgetting!

Have you ever noticed in your work as a Vincentian, that for some people who receive considerable help, very little gratitude is expressed. Then, for others, something quite small at the time is done for them, and a mountain of gratitude arrives. What is going on here?

In a book entitled ‘The Road Less Travelled’, the author begins by stating: “Life is difficult”. He then goes on to say that there are two types of people: those who accept this fact and those who think life shouldn’t be difficult.

Those who accept that life is difficult are ones who face their difficulties and so rise above them. Those who believe the opposite, spend their life bemoaning their difficulties and eventually are overtaken by them.

A fascinating book to read in the Old Testament is the book of Job. This fictional character has everything going for him. He is full of wisdom and recognizes the place of God in his life. Then along comes a character called Satan, whose task is to prove to God that Job is only an integrated person because his life is so good. Satan therefore tells God to test Job and make life difficult for him. Job was then struck down with ulcers on his feet and head and the story continues with Job saying: “May the day perish when I was born!”

The book of Job is 42 short chapters in length. From the time of Job being struck down in chapter 3, right up until chapter 38, several aspects of Job’s character are revealed, but in short, he is simply believing that life shouldn’t be difficult.

Finally, in chapter 38, Job hears God saying: “Who is this obscuring my design with his empty-headed words?”  God carries on asking Job question after question, put in such a way that Job finally becomes aware of the nature of things. God is all powerful and he on his own is nothing. Acceptance and surrender to God is everything. 

The message in this book? For me, it is quite simply to remember we are not God. Not yet anyway! It pays to ponder the wonder of life and the wonder of creation. It pays to remember who we humans are. Then we will understand surrender. 


  1. Relate your experience as a Vincentian with people who find personal difficulties hard to accept?

  2. What does the concept of surrendering to God conjure up within you? Fear? Peace?


I surrender myself to you, Lord,
and ask you
Put an end to my restlessness.
I give you my will
I do not believe any longer that I can answer myself
What I am doing, and what is happening through me,
Lead me and show me your will.
I give you my thoughts
I do not believe that I am so intelligent
That I can answer myself,
My whole life or other people,
Teach me to think your thoughts.
I give you my plans.
I do not believe any longer that my life finds meaning
In what I reach through my plans.
I entrust myself to your plan
For you know me.
My anxiety about others
I give to you I do not believe any longer
That with my anxiety I can improve anything
That remains with you.
Why should I be anxious?
My anxiety about the power of others I give to you.
You were powerless before the mighty.
The mighty have fallen.
You live.
My fear of my own failures I give to you
I do not have to be successful
If I wish to be one blessed according to your will.
All insoluble questions,
all discontent with myself,
All my cramped hopes I give to you.
I give up running into locked doors
And wait for you.
You will open them.
I give you myself,
I belong to you.
You have me in your hand.
I thank you.