I found a bookmark recently with a morning prayer, with the words of St Francis De Sales: “Call to mind that the day now beginning is given to you in order that you may work for Eternity, and make a steadfast resolution to use this day for that end.” Do you realize that you are called to more than just the comfort that this world offers? I often become very comfortable in the place that I’m in, but I also need to realize that God calls us to more. The world will offer you SO MUCH for you to be comfortable with where you are. The world will whisper to you, “Just settle, you weren’t made for anything more, don’t worry.” But I need to tell you: there is more. There is so much more! One of my favorite quotes from Pope Benedict XVI is, “the world promises you comfort, but you were made for more than comfort. You were made for greatness.” YES!
The world promises you comfort, but you were made for more than comfort. You were made for greatness.
– Pope Benedict XVI
So what does this greatness look like? My first thought is the life of the saints. “Oh sainthood, that’s just for an elite few”. God calls us all to be saints! How can we be saints for our friend Jesus? By being exactly who he calls us to be! Yup! That’s it. Be the best version of who God calls you to be. It might sound too easy. The concept in saying it is easy, but putting this into practice is that much more difficult.
Have you ever thought what makes Christians different than every other person on this planet? I was asked this question in the book Rediscover Jesus. I have to tell you, I loved Matthew Kelly’s answer. He said basically that the two pillars that make Christians different from the rest of the world are generosity and forgiveness. Only those two things? Really? Again that’s too easy. But that’s it! This exercise is easily read in a bulletin, but harder to put into practice. website tech info I’ve reflected over this for a few weeks, and I have to tell you, I can’t get it out of my head. There is a lot of truth to this! Generosity isn’t our first inclination, at least, it isn’t for me. Moving beyond my own nature into selflessness? Denial of myself to see the better of the other. Yup, ask my family, I could be better in this area. When I look at some of the most generous people in my life, or those I’ve heard about, I often think of several people, such as: St John Paul II, St Maximilian Kolbe, (soon to be St.) Mother Teresa. Christians are very often the most generous people.
But how about forgiveness? If you look into this area, this is truly what makes Christians different from much of the rest of the world. This is one of my weakest areas as a Christian, but an area I continue to develop and learn about. If you look into it, or through your experience in life, forgiveness is NOT easy: giving out forgiveness, being forgiven by others, and then ALSO forgiving yourself. All three of those things are not easy to practice and they definitely require grace and love from God. However, when we put these into practice, I know God has truly shown His presence in a powerful way in our life. Even hearing stories of forgiveness, I know God is so present in those people, both in those who offer forgiveness, those who are open to being forgiven and those who are courageous enough to forgive one’s self (the hardest part for me).
Forgiveness and generosity are definitely two areas I hope to grow, through my friendship with Jesus. I invite you to look into your heart, the core of your spiritual life, and ask the question: How am I doing in the area of generosity? How am I doing in the area of forgiveness? Jesus promises us that if we deepen these two areas in our life, He will become more present both in the people around us, and also more present within us.