When I first encountered Christ in college, my heart was set on fire for evangelization. I think it is typical after your initial conversion to become overly zealous and enthusiastic about spreading the Gospel. After experiencing the Lord's love, I yearned to transmit it to every crevice of the world. Immediately, I was convicted of becoming a missionary after college. I longed to do something radical, extreme and intense for the Lord. I desired to be an all-star in the Catholic world. However, I graduated with more loans than I could count. And so, I moved home as a means to an end.
I think anyone who is tapped into a Catholic community knows a Catholic All-star. I am not referring to those who are universally known like Scott Hahn, Jeff Cavins, or Peter Kreeft. I am referring to that mom at Church who is involved in everything or your brother who is becoming a priest. As an alumna of Franciscan University, the majority of my friends are Catholic All-stars. One of my best friends is studying for her PhD in Biblical Studies at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain. Another friend is a missionary in Zambia. And it seems like I am the only one of my friends who is not engaged, married, or has two children by now.
Sometimes I feel like I am waiting for my life to start. I work a 9-5 office job where the only communication I have is through a computer or head set. It can be boring, unchallenging, isolating, and monotonous. My life has become bare-bones and one of routine. Every day consists of the same activities without much variation: work, adoration, gym, home, rinse, and repeat. At times, I think my gifts and talents are being locked up in a box and wasted.
I was talking about this with my spiritual director a few months ago. I detested that my life was now simple and one of routine. I never wanted to be one of those people. I planned on being free, spontaneous, and adventurous with the Lord. My spiritual director told me that the Second Vatican Council defined sanctity as carrying out the ordinary duties of mundane living for an extended period of time. Wait, so this is how I become holy…by living like I am? My director shared that St. Ignatius of Loyola discouraged making any significant changes in your life until the Lord smacks it in your face. Hearing that flipped my world upside down. I always thought I had to do something BIG for the Lord. I had to change the world. I had to travel to the four corners of the earth and bear the Gospel. I had to be the New Evangelization. But, it is perfectly okay to live in my hometown and enjoy it. And not only that, but the Lord wills it. My job is not supposed to fill every need and ache of my heart; it is going to be boring at times. I do not have to do something extravagant in order to serve the Lord.
This new understanding of holiness turned everything around for me. I love and serve the Lord more at home than if I was working with lepers in Africa because this is God’s plan for me. It is a trap to compare myself with my friends and all of their accomplishments. This is exactly where the Lord wants me at this time. I am happier than I have ever been in my life because I am more in union with Lord. I have become a more authentic woman because I no longer feel the pressure of being an all-star. Of course, I still desire to be a fool for the Lord and share His love, but now I do it in the grocery store, at Starbucks, and at the gym. My simple, scheduled life gives me the freedom to do what I love: write, read, run, pray, bike, etc. Perhaps, I will eventually end up in a third world country someday, but for right now, I am not going anywhere.
We need the Scott Hahns of the world. They are transforming the face of Catholicism and reaching those who are buried and lost. But, we also need those who carry out the ordinary duties of mundane living. So let’s live a hum-drum life for the Lord!
Editor’s Note: During the month of November, as we celebrate the final days of the Year of Faith, we’d like to feature stories from YOU about the blessings and fruits you’ve experienced during this year. How did you celebrate? What did you do to grow in faith? How did your relationship with Christ and His Church deepen?
Send us your stories and reflections to email@example.com along with your contact information, and your reflection could be featured here on the blog in November!
Submissions should be under 500 words; deadline for submissions is October 31st.