Perhaps no single thing has held me back in life as much as my own doubt in my abilities. No thing has stopped me from sending articles, from failing to make a phone call, from hesitating to risk. Granted, getting burned when I did take those risks never helped (oh, scar from the Freshman in High School Incident of '99, when I summoned the chutzpah to ask a guy out to the Sadie Hawkins dance, only to be turned down by that red-faced young lad; ouch).
But really, what would life be like if every Catholic, if every believer in Christ, risked everything (or just something) to make their voice a little louder? A little stronger? A little more audible?
I hold the greatest of respect in my heart for the many men and women religious that close themselves off from society, devoting their life to prayers and petitions that go unseen to the Unseen. We may never even know who has prayed for us, with a voice that is silent to our own ears. It's not these blessed folks of which I write.
It's really an admonition to myself first. I have gone silent, with a great burning in my chest and ears, when I hear God's great name used with no reverence--I have done it myself. I have kept quiet in the 1.5-second lull after a coworker calls a person, a subject or a topic "retarded." I've seen the homeless of this city at a distance on the sidewalks before me, and purposefully turned a block early to go my route in peace.
Shame. Shame always follows. And truly, shame should be upon us not just when we let the defenseless or the poor in front of us pass by without even a blink. But so too should we be ashamed for letting our talents and gifts go unused, or perhaps worse, be used for a cause that gives little or no glory to God.
I think of the husbands that work every day of their lives for 30, 40, 50 years to support a family. What they do every day is noble.
I think of the mothers that do the same thing, in the home. Noble to the core.
I think of myself. What have I done to bring about the Kingdom today? What have I done?
So, I resolve: I resolve to put on my precious feet every morning--and to cheerfully explain their presence on my shirt. I resolve to be more confident in what I write--if the Lord has led me to pursue this, for so many years now, He will make good come from it. I resolve to make myself uncomfortably vigorous. I resolve to be an activist.
"If you are here, you are an activist. We can no longer just say the words but must put our words into action."
I give him thanks who has strengthened me, even to Christ Jesus our Lord, for that he has counted me faithful, putting me in the ministry, St. Paul writes to Timothy.
One more for the day, courtesy of a most beloved sister:
Oh Jesus my Lord, help me. Let what you have planned before all ages happen to me. I am ready at each beckoning of your holy will. That was St. Faustina Kowalska's prayer, she herself being an open and beautiful receptacle of the Divine Mercy. Amen, amen.