As it often happens in India, one night the power in our home went out. I searched in the dark for two candles and lit them. I gave one of them to my wife, Stella, who was cooking in the kitchen. Carrying the other candle, I went towards my children’s room. Suddenly the flame of my candle blew out. “Stella,” I yelled, “the candle has gone out!” Stella promptly came with her candle and lit mine. Since Stella had a lit candle, she was able to light mine. Otherwise the two of us would have been lost in the darkness.
Likewise it is imperative that for our good those around us should be fervent in virtue, love, and in the Holy Spirit. We are weak individuals prone to sin. There will be times that those around us must hold our hands and raise us up. In order to do this, they need to have strength.
Therefore we should pray for others, even more than for ourselves. For example if they have money, we will be able to borrow from them in a time of need. So it is necessary, for example, to pray for the financial well-being of others.
It is foolishness to pray only for our own children. If their entire generation is bad, sinful, and unholy, our children will easily go astray. They will be doomed even if we give them all our attention. But if their friends are growing in virtue, through them our children too will grow in virtue. When our children fail, their good friends will raise them up. Therefore in addition to praying for our children we must pray for the well-being of their generation.
Praying only for our own problems is a symptom of a diseased mind. Only those who have mental maturity can pray for others. Our well-being lies in the well-being of others. So, rejoice in their growth without any envy. Pray for them unceasingly.
My God, I know that selfishness is my great spiritual malady. Sometimes, I hesitate to give oil to light the lamps of others. I work rather to only keep my lamp ablaze. Help me to realize that that when the wind of problems blow in my life’s journey, my flame may go out. From today onwards, help me to ensure that I also take care to give oil to others’ lamps. Even if my lamp goes out, may their light guide me. My God, burn my selfishness in the fire of Your love. Amen.