Wednesday in the Eleventh Week of Ordinary Time

To shine or not to shine, that’s the question!  Jesus warns us, “Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them.”  But he also says, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”   So, what are we to do? 

When Dom Philip O’Connor was abbot in the 1950’s he taught us this bit of wisdom: “Don’t do something just in order to edify others; but also, don’t omit to do something because it will edify.”   What matters is our motivation.  St. Thérèse of Lisieux said, “Our Lord doesn’t look so much at the greatness of our actions, [how much they edify], but at the love with which we do them.” 

Yet, as unworthy servants we often act with mixed motives, a little love of God and a lot of self-love. So, St. Benedict teaches us, “To attribute to God, and not to self, whatever good we see in ourselves, and to recognize that the evil is our own doing, and impute it to ourselves.”   Do this and then let your light shine because the world desperately needs real Christians.  A popular song from the 1950’s titled “Glow-worm” when applied to Christians expresses this quite well:

Shine little Christian, glimmer, glimmer …

Lead us lest too far we wander

Love’s sweet voice is calling yonder


Shine little Christian, glimmer, glimmer

Hey there, don’t get dimmer, dimmer

Light the path below and above,

And lead us on to Love!