Devotion to God and Service to Others

A couple Sundays ago, my son wound up in the hospital, needing breathing treatments due to an “acute respiratory reaction,” to what the doctors surmised was a virus.  He was admitted Saturday night, and was in the hospital until Monday afternoon.  Thankfully, his energy and breathing rebounded within hours of his admittance, and I pray there will not be any further episodes… ever…

Our family had initially planned to attend the annual AMS Military Appreciation Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, D.C. that Sunday.  We missed it last year, and since we are moving, we won’t be able to attend it next year.

Since we were unable to attend the AMS Military Appreciation Mass, I decided to take advantage of my husband being in the hospital with our son, and attend Mass at the chapel in the hospital – we have never been in the hospital for appointments around the time they hold daily Mass, so I have never gone into the chapel before.

The chapel in the hospital was resplendent in its beautiful simplicity.  It was a reminder to me that God doesn’t require openly demonstrative examples of love and fidelity to Him.  Instead, He simply asks for quiet devotion to Himself and to His Word.

The understated beauty of the hospital chapel was breathtaking.

The following Sunday, I attended a ceremony at Georgetown University.  In that setting, I was again reminded that God doesn’t desire grandeur, pomp, and circumstance when living out a faith-filled lifestyle.  Instead, He asks for me to live my life in the service of others.  I was reminded of how important it is to serve the least of those among us – an initial teaching I found with the Jesuits at Gonzaga University.  As a mother, He is entrusting me to live the teaching with my children, and to impart the values of service of others to them.

While the structure is grand and intimidating, the message from the Jesuits is one of simple living and service to others.

I don’t quite know what quiet devotion and service to others will look like in the days and weeks ahead.  However, given the reminders I was given the past two weekends, I imagine I will be spending more time asking myself how I will continue to serve others, and how I will continue to show Him the proper devotion He requests.

One thought on “Devotion to God and Service to Others

  1. I have always been put off by chapels, churches, basilicas, and cathedrals that are filled with gold and marble. Although I know that God is there, I cannot imagine Him being happy with all the human trappings of what we call beautiful. Jim and I were married in a simple yet elegant Jesuit chapel. We are still married after 44 years. It made no difference that it wasn’t elegant and expensive although we could have easily had that. Living simply doesn’t mean we are living less of a life with purpose. We continue to live simply although we are blessed with having that as a personal choice. Quiet devotion and the commitment of service to others has its own benefits that are not of this earth. No matter how far we have traveled, we have always found the simple, devotional life. It is there. Finding it is a choice. Being open to it allows “it” to find you. And it will.

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