Three practices to reinforce commitment
Given a choice, would you prefer someone to tell you they won’t do something or tell you they will do something and then not?
This week in Lourdes, I complete five seasons as a Stagieré (essentially an apprentice Hospitalier) and will make my “Engagement” to become a full Hospitalier. The ceremony at the weekly Hospitalité Mass is also known as “The Ceremony of Commitment”. In this case, the commitment is to “come to Lourdes on a regular basis (every year, if possible) to serve the pilgrims who come to Lourdes, especially sick and disabled pilgrims”.
It is easy to say you will do something and then not do it, so how can you reinforce your commitment to taking action to make a difference in the lives of others? Here are three practices that have certainly helped me.
Write it down
In my written response to the Hospitalité Notre Dame de Lourdes invitation, I confirmed my intention to spend a week in Lourdes each year and observe the Hospitalier spirit in and away from Lourdes.
When you write something down, you think carefully about your commitment. In this case, I asked myself if I could find the emotional and physical energy, time and resources to serve in Lourdes once a year. I concluded I could (and was immediately challenged in my commitment by rail strikes disrupting my travel plans – c’est la vie).
There is only so much you can do. There is no point in committing to something far beyond your resources and capabilities. The business mantra about under-promising and over-delivering has great merit.
In my case, the commitment to come to Lourdes once a year (if possible) is manageable and realistic in the context of my personal circumstances.
Tell the world
Well, tell those that matter, at the very least. There is nothing like standing up in front of a crowd and saying you will do something to reinforce your commitment.
I have seen others before me at the Wednesday Hospitalier Mass in Lourdes make their Commitment in front of a hundred or so of their peers. The ceremony is sacred and inspiring. I and everyone else in the congregation know that the new Hospitaliers have trained for their role and have considered their ability to commit to regular service in Lourdes.
Of course, your commitment comes from deep within your mind. However, these three practices will help you reinforce your commitment.
Take it further
Visit https://www.lourdes-france.org/en/ to find out more about Lourdes.
Two routes to greater spirituality
How to achieve greater spirituality by accepting a challenge and finding the faith to let go.
Finish what you start to build trust
We are often good at starting and possibly not so good at finishing, which is a pity as unfinished business destroys hard-earned trust.
The Serenity Prayer
Take the advice of the Serenity Prayer and work on the inner you before seeking to change the rest of the world.
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What do you think?
Your views are important, and your fellow readers would love to hear your opinion, so share your thoughts in the comments box below, and thank you for your time and generosity.