I have always desired and worked for perfection in my life – in the things that I do, in the things that I have and in myself and in the people around me. I have always hungered for life and have always wanted it in its fullness. I have found this perfection and fulness through the relationships I have in life: with my loved ones, with my family and friends, with nature, with myself and with God. And the times, I have been disappointed I have realized I have not given enough of myself.
I have always asked: what else do I lack? what else must I do? to attain the perfection and fullness of life. And often, I am afraid of what the answer might be. Something might be asked of me that I wouldn’t be able to give. Someone might be taken away from me that I wouldn’t be able to let go. There are times I know that God is asking me to give up something for my own good. But like the still profligate Augustine, my prayer is “Lord, make me pure and chaste. But not yet.” Or, sometimes I try to negotiate with the God, promising Him that I will do my best to be good but that He allows me to keep just this one little foible of mine, or perhaps two or three.
I borrow St. Augustine’s prayer: “Lord, make me good and pure – in your time and in the manner and place of your choosing. Only give me your love and your grace to do your will. Let your Your light shine upon me to know and discern what it is that I must do.”
The young man said to him,
“All of these I have observed. What do I still lack?”
Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be perfect, go,
sell what you have and give to the poor,
and you will have treasure in heaven.
Then come, follow me.”
When the young man heard this statement, he went away sad,
for he had many possessions.