The Daughters of the Most Holy Redeemer is an Association of the Congregation of the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer. Its members strive to live as apostolic hermits entirely given over to the love of Jesus, Our Most Holy Redeemer and to the salvation of souls.

As in conformity with their proper vocation the Sons of the Most Holy Redeemer habitually use the liturgical books in use in 1962, applying the provision of Article 3 of the Motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, of Pope Benedict XVI, so too do also the Daughters of the Most Holy Redeemer.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Hidden Service: “....your Father who sees in secret will repay you”

Hidden is the past participle of hide which means:

A) Put or keep out of sight

B) Prevent (someone or something) from being seen

Service means:

A) The action of helping or doing work for someone

B) An act of assistance

So hidden service is putting or keeping out of sight an action of helping someone. Alternatively it is preventing an act of assistance being seen. Our Lord tells us to do all things in secret. First he says to give alms so our left hand doesn't know what the right is doing. Then he tells us to pray also in secret. He promises that our Father who sees in secret will repay us. Any praise we receive here on earth is nothing compared to the reward our Father wants to give us. But if we take the earthly glory we lose all right to the heavenly reward, for as Our Lord says of those who rejoice in being noticed for their works and prayers “truely I tell you they have had their reward”. How terrible to forgo heavenly rewards for a brief moment of praise and acknowledgment here and now.

But more than this, we should not merely be motivated by the reward to come, but by pure love of God. When you love someone you delight in doing things for that person. You think only of that person and do not look for the praise of others. Were a wife to do something special for her husband, she would not expect the neighbour to praise her for it. So we should be with God. He is our one and only True Love. We should do everything purely to please Him and give Him glory and not expect others to praise us for it. More than that we should grieve at being praised for it endangers our happiness and feeds our vanity and vainglory. Our actions should be done in a spirit of hiddeness. Sometimes however it is not possible for actions to be actually hidden, and other times charity dictates we receive recognition. In these circumstances hiddeness becomes an interior act. We receive the praise and offer it straight up to God.

Our Lord gives us a perfect example of hidden service in his 30 years of hidden life. He quietly worked and prayed in secret winning countless graces for the world. By spending most of His time on earth in this way, He shows us the great love He has for hiddeness. Throughout His whole life we read of people finding Him, which shows he was always hidden. From the nativity when the Wise men and shepherds searched for Him and found Him in the manger, to the finding in the Temple after Our Lady and St Joseph searched for three days. Then even in His public life people heard He was nearby and sought him out. He didn't announce Himself or go looking for people to heal. He remained exactly where His Father wanted Him to be and people came looking for Him. He tells us this is His will when He says “seek and you shall find” and again “seek ye first the kingdom of God”. He is still hidden from the world today and longs for us to seek after Him. He comes to us in the ultimate hiding place, the Holy Eucharist. Who would look for God in something resembling a piece of bread? His greatest gift to us is also the strongest argument for hiddeness.

Our Blessed Mother is the model of hidden service. Right from the moment of the Annunciation and even before then, she hid herself completely in silent contemplation of her Son and God. All through her life every action was performed for Him. Either directly ministering to His temporal needs or through acts of charity performed for others out of love for Him. Such as her request at the wedding of Cana, out of compassion for the young couple running out of wine. We cannot say much about this hidden service of Our Lady because it was and is just that, hidden. Through her humility she is an expert at hiding herself in order that God might have all the glory.

Let us strive in all things to imitate Our Lord and His Holy Mother, but especially in doing everything in a spirit of hiddeness. By not expecting or delighting in praise, by hiding our actions when possible and by offering them and the glory from them straight to Our Lord. This way we show our love for our Jesus and grow our treasure in heaven. Deo Gratias.

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