Cora Evans’ Sunday Gospel Reflection for December 1
The following is an excerpt from Cora Evans’ work, The Refugee from Heaven, selected as a reflection for the Sunday Gospel reading Matthew 24:37-44.
As all things must, the retreat finally neared its completion. The days were glorious and happy, and several of the men asked Simon whether or not they could remain on the island for the rest of their lives. The world failed to call them from this hidden peace and deep beauty of prayer. If Simon would only grant them permission, they would vow to give their lives as an offering for the God-Man's successful reign on earth. They wanted all souls to know and love Him as they did. No sacrifice was too great to achieve that end.
Simon asked them to wait and ask Jesus. The decision should be His. However, he felt certain the Master would give His permission, and in anticipation of that, he prayed courage would be theirs in the months and years to come.
He sounded a note of caution, though, by saying, “While you foster this noble idea of self-sacrifice, question yourselves whether or not you fully realize that you are nothing, and are deserving of nothing in life. And yet your very nothingness is able to praise God. For when your soul burns with love for Him, His grace speaks lofty desires into your mind. All good thoughts come from Him. Do not forget to thank Him for every one. If you think only of the beauty and the peace and the quiet of this place, you seek escape from a sordid world. That is self-pleasure. But if you can honestly say that you want to stay here only for the glory of God and your own sanctification, then His grace has touched you.
“Your constant prayer must be, ‘God is all! God is everything! God's will is mine!’”
The men bowed in humble subjection to Simon's words. Then they went to their favorite places of quiet and prayed far into the night.