instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Do your best today. Do God's best tomorrow.

Gertraud von Bullion was a co-founder of the Schoenstatt Women's Federation, and the subject of Ann W. Astell's essay, "Lay Apostolate and the Beruf of Getraud von Bullion." (Beruf is a German word meaning variously "profession," "vocation," or "calling.")

I know very little about either Schoenstatt or Gertraud, though I've heard vaguely good things about the former and Astell's essay makes of the latter an interesting and charismatic person. But the one passage the essay quotes from her writings that really struck a chord with me was this:
Should I throw everything away because I never bring anything to perfection? The choleric in me would like to do so... But is it not better that I retain my poverty, my incapacity for good, for anything more than mediocrity, and say, full of humility to my Mother, "See, I am not capable of serving and following your Son as I should. You, however, have called me here. Here I am.... Mother, help me that I at least attain to mediocrity, since I manage to do nothing better. And Mother, if you and my Savior expect more from me, give me the glowing flames of Love that overcome the obstacles of my pride and lead me to the cross. Give me each day anew the will to strive."
My own inclination, largely born of pride, is to not do at all a thing I can only do with mediocrity. Gertraud rightly saw her calling was to do her best, however poor her best might be, and to leave it in the hands of Him for Whom she worked to give her what she needed to do better.

She also saw that doing better would involve being led to the cross, which calls to mind Jesus' saying about calculating the cost before beginning construction on a new tower. Gertraud knew what the cost of discipleship was, she knew she was willing to pay it, and she knew Whom to ask for the funds to sustain her.