Be your BEST self

Many of you have heard of Thomas Merton, a Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, author of many inspirational books, and promoter of peace between all peoples. He once wrote: “To be a saint is to be the best version of yourself, to choose to use your God-given talents to do the things that only YOU can do.”

What a wonderfully encouraging thought, and one that can urge each of us to strive for that distinction, I believe. I can recall my own parents urging me and my siblings to be our BEST selves as often as we can. And I am surmising that many of you also heard that message in your formative years. Maybe our parents, too, were encouraged by ideas similar to Merton’s. God does not demand more.

The fact is that each day presents a chance to bring our talents and our unique abilities to those around us. They are truly gifts from God, but they do not belong only to us. We carry them with us and present them to each other, so that we help to build the kingdom we have been promised, one step at a time. To be a Christian is to be guided always by love, the kind of love that puts concern and care for others before ourselves.

Another truth is that we may not always know God’s will, try though we may to figure it all out. We do stumble and fall along the way, but we cannot fail in finding the right way if we have faith, in each other, in ourselves, and in our loving God. Let us pray for one another that we, like Merton, will choose to go where God guides us, and continue to put our best foot forward. HAPPY SAINT MAKING! (Ideas drawn from Andrew Lenoir, journalist)

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