Life is to live and life is to give and
talents are to use for good if you choose.
Do not pray for easy lives.
Pray to be strong.
Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers.
Pray for powers equal to your tasks –
then the doing of your work shall be no miracle
but you shall be a miracle.
Every day you shall wonder at yourself…
at the richness of life which has come to you
by the grace of God.
But everyone needs someone – knowing that
somewhere someone is thinking of you.
-Poem prayer used by Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey
Is it a great poem? No. But it’s an interesting glimpse into Fr. Solanus’ heart. He was the porter at the Capuchin monastery in Detroit during the Great Depression who began what’s now the Capuchin Soup Kitchen (and alcoholism treatment center, urban garden project, food pantry, job training, and..)
His dreams of priesthood were thwarted in several ways (even his ordination was as a “simplex priest” unable to grant absolution or preach sermons). Yet he exemplified gratitude for everything. I particularly like that when he prayed with someone for their needs, he also led them to “thank God ahead of time.” There’s more about him here.