When you say yes to something you say no to something else.
I learn this adage at a “Protecting Your Goals” class I had the honor of participating in last year. Whether you are addicted to volunteering or superbly balanced in your calendar-planning, this phrase is worth reflecting on.
How do your time commitments reflect on who you are? How have your commitments changed in the last month? Year? Five years? How do these changes reflect your life changes? Who is valued through your commitments (it’s not selfish for you to be valued!)
How do the saints’ timesheets fare? They may have more community service and prayer hours in – but it’s important to remember that their time commitments were as diverse as they were, and any given saint’s scheduled activities were based on his/her growth toward God through the inclinations and charisms that He gave them. Not everyone chose monastic life, or community, and not everyone stuck with the initial vocation to which they felt called!
Cardinal Dolan recently tweeted “At the gates of heaven, we will not be asked for an ID, but the gatekeeper will look for the sign of the Cross. Is it visible in your life?”
Our paths to sainthood will vary, but they’ll be marked by the sign of the cross in some sense because every time we say “yes” to God we say “no” to the world, to sin (perhaps) but also to self, to our longings that pretend to satisfy us more than God. While the cross is a sign of suffering, it is also a sign of salvation. The cross in our lives draws us closer to our Creator, a way to more greatly understand His sacrifice while also recognizing His rightful place as the source of our salvation!
My husband and I started attending our current parish right as the pastor was leaving for a new assignment. At one of his last Masses, the choir played a song called “Good Where We’ve Been Good Where We’re Going to.” The bulk of the song’s lyrics is a slow repetition of the title. We’ve heard that song a few more times as our pastor and RE director have also moved on to different places.
It’s hard to keep tears and second-guesses away as you know you’re moving on to different things – but it IS good to remember that wherever we’ve been and wherever we’re going to, whatever the cross we carry, God is with us!
Scripture tells us that when Jesus commissioned his disciples he reminded them, “I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Truly God is everpresent with us on our path and in our joys and sufferings. The saints knew this truth and invite us to experience and make it true in our own lives.
Ok so this post hopefully hits home the points that God is with us always, in our past and in our journey toward him. But I also have a more personal footnote – I’ve spent a little less than a year blogging here, and it’s been good where I’ve been, but for various personal reasons, I will be discontinuing my ACNM blogging (at least regularly!) It has been an honor and pleasure to share thoughts on living a faith-filled life and seeking sainthood! I pray that you will continue to find time for prayer and gain confidence that in every tiny way you turn toward God, He will bless you abundantly on your path to sainthood.
Note: Reflections in this blog are my own and do not represent the positions of my employer.