“You have not called me to be successful. You have called me to be faithful.” -Blessed Teresa of Calcutta
I have these famous words by Mother Teresa written and posted on the mirror in my bathroom so that every day - amidst a world that values success above all else- I can be reminded of the one thing necessary… faithfulness. To Jesus.
Recently I remembered a moment in my life during a time in which I lived in an almost cloistered environment. Having little access to television, media, or anything on the outside world, every day was spent doing very basic work, talking with others, and simply being with Jesus in the Eucharist.
I remember having a moment before Jesus one day, and realizing that nothing else mattered to me but Him. It no longer mattered who I was with or what my future held… if I was going to be married one day or enter religious life. If I was going to live in Hollywood or in Africa, travel the world singing, or scrub bathroom floors. I truly didn’t care. All I wanted was to know God.
Not just to know about Him, but to really know Him. To know who He was and what He was like. To be with Him, to be a saint, to do His will. To be faithful.
And how very easy it is to slip away from that place, to let our gaze slowly drift from the one thing necessary into a million other distractions… Trying to figure out our own lives. Trying to gain other people’s approval. Trying to achieve. Trying to be successful.
Not only is it so easy to lose sight of who matters most in our lives—the Lord—but it is also so easy to lose sight of our one true mission in life: love.
How many days do I spend dreaming, planning, preparing all the ways I think I can build up God’s Kingdom, while I am literally forgetting to love the person right in front of me? Forgetting to serve in the most basic ways those whom God has placed in my life today? To do the "small things with great love" as Mother Teresa reminds us?
When I forget to do this, I miss the boat. I miss living the heart of the Gospel in my own life.
During this Lenten season my prayer is to remember my deepest calling. To draw deeper into the presence of Jesus and let Him truly permeate my being, that I may love as He loves. To “rend my heart” as Scripture says (Joel 2:13). To receive His grace to be truly faithful... For that is my only success.