An Apostolic Call...

Do not depend on the hope of results. When you are doing the sort of work you have taken on, essentially an apostolic work, you may have to face the fact that your work will be apparently worthless and even achieve no result at all, if not perhaps results opposite to what you expect.

As you get used to this idea, you start more and more to concentrate not on the results but on the value, the rightness, the truth of the work itself.


—Thomas Merton, in a letter dated February 21, 1966

And I bow my head in recognition - deep, instinctive and personal - of the truth of it. I am glad for results, we have seen profound results, results that have tended to endure. But enfolded in the apostolic calling is a fatherhood principle that focuses on the value of the process, and the integrity of the work for the sake of the work. Loving people because God loves them, not because they meet our hopes or expectations.

Results often take a lifetime to see.
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