Snips: From ‘Becoming Who You Are’

I wanted to share a few snippets from Becoming Who You Are that are poignant to me during this re-reading. (Becoming Who You Are, by James Martin, SJ)

From the chapter The Story of a (Corporate) Soul, a quote from Merton:

“Why do we have to spend our lives striving to be something we would never want to be, if we only knew what we wanted? Why do we waste our time doing things which, if we only stopped to think about them, are just the opposite of what we were made for?”

And from the chapter All Saints:

“Let’s say that…recently you read a magazine article about your favorite contemporary saint, Mother Teresa. You say to yourself, sadly, ‘I’ll never be like her.’ But that’s the problem. You’re not meant to be Mother Teresa, you’re meant to be yourself.

“In other words, the working mother is not meant to be Mother Teresa. She is meant to be a woman who loves her children, loves her husband, loves her friends and coworkers, and finds meaning in her own world. She is meant to experience the presence of God in her life and in the lives of people with whom she lives and works. Sometimes this means doing big things with love, like raising children. And sometimes it means doing smaller things with love. (Therese of Lisieux called this the ‘Little Way’). For the working mother, this could mean, for example, keeping a lid on her temper at work or at home (no matter how justified it may be to lose her temper).

“Part of this process means that this young woman has to let go of her desire to be someone else. Because, in reality, she might be lousy at the type of work that Mother Teresa did. But, just to underline this point, Mother Teresa might have been lousy at the work that this mother is doing!”

What do you think about these ideas? Have you experienced similar conflicts? Or maybe this doesn’t ring true with you at all?

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2 thoughts on “Snips: From ‘Becoming Who You Are’

  1. Stephanie says:

    I love reading how I feel about my lot in life. I am only meant to be Me.

    I will never be the mother that cuddles with her children regularly, but I will be the mother to give a loving high-five and big smooch for just being them. I will be the mother screaming on the sidelines with the diaphragm that any cheerleader envies. And Lord knows I will be the mother to stand in front, beside and behind my children when someone/thing threatens them.

    I am also the woman that will get several more tattoos, piercings, rainbow hair color changes…all while being room mom, PTA committee chair, board member for little league football and the light in my husband’s eye.

    I’m me. Accepting that was the greatest release for me. Others struggle with me being me……but that’s their struggle, not mine.

    • Shawn says:

      Steph – you are an AWESOME mom. I love who you are, and so does your boy. He will spend his whole life knowing that he has a mom who lived her life fully, fearlessly, and without reservations. What better love and life example could there be than that? xxoo

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