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?