Lord, I Am Afraid

This evening, Lord, I am afraid.
I am afraid, for your Gospel is terrible.
It is easy to hear it preached,
It is relatively easy not to be shocked by it,
But it is very difficult to live it.
I am afraid of deluding myself, Lord.
I am afraid of being satisfied with my decent little life,
I am afraid of my good habits, for I take them for virtues;
I am afraid of my little efforts, for I take them for progress;
I am afraid of my activities; they make me think I am giving myself.
I am afraid of my clever planning; I take it for success.
I am afraid of my influence, I imagine that it will transform lives;
I am afraid of what I give; it hides what I withhold;
I am afraid, Lord; there are people who are poorer than I;
Not so well educated,
housed,
heated,
fed,
cared for,
loved.
I am afraid, Lord, for I do not do enough for them,
I do not do everything for them.
I should give everything.
I should give everything until there is not a single pain, a single misery, a single sin in the world.
I should then give all, Lord, all the time.
I should give my life.
Lord, it is not true, is it?
It is not true for everyone,
I am exaggerating, I must be sensible!
Son, there is only one commandment,
For everyone:
You shall love with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your strength.
(Michel Quoist, Prayers of Life, 1954)
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