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greatness

Made For Greatness

What kind of person do you want to be? Some might say successful, others, happy, and yet others might say fulfilled. These are all beautiful answers and all have their individual values but none of them paint the whole picture. We have all been created with dignity and an intrinsic value that God wants more for you then just happiness or success. God has created you for greatness! So what is greatness? Is it being the CEO of some Fortune 500 company? Possibly. What about becoming an international speaker? Maybe. What about just being a father working a regular job? The beautiful thing about greatness is that it can be anything so long as we are following the will of God in our lives. We all have different gifts, talents and callings in life and yet everything we do is in service of our neighbor and the living Church, known as the Mystical Body of Christ. If you are anything like me, we can sometimes find ourselves bargaining with God. We say things like, “if You would do this for me then I will be able to do this for You.” I have noticed in the past year how often this has been my response to situations in my life in both good times and bad, but through self introspection I’ve come to see how selfish a desire that is. You see, God never leaves us on our own but He gives us countless opportunities to show just how much we love Him and how much faith we have in His ways versus our own. Our view from our own eyes can become cloudy and fogged as we travel over the, often times, windy path to follow in the footsteps of Christ. This fog can be from our own lack of faith, our own selfish desires, or it can be placed by the evil one – satan. I feel satan is often behind these selfish prayers of ours when we bargain with God. There is hope for us “bargainers” though. You see, once we become aware of what we are doing we can convert our prayers to allow God to transform our hearts and to help us transform that fog into a beautiful light. We must examine our motives behind the desires we pray for and if they contain selfish thoughts we must ask for those motives to be purified. While, what we may pray for in their own right might be something true, good, and beautiful, if our intentions are selfish in nature then we can poison those desires – and this is exactly what satan wants of us. Next time you find yourself bargaining in prayer, even for something good, ask God to purify your intentions and to show you the true meaning of what you are asking. Regardless of the response that He gives you, it is all because He loves you and has made you for greatness. He calls you to the journey, but it is your decision to take the first step.

 

meat-and-potatoes

Work as if everything depended on God (Part II)

If you haven’t read Part 1 yet, that might be a good place start.

This side of things is a little bit harder to expand upon. How do I work as if everything depends on God? After all, everything I do is a result of my own actions, right? When I get down to the meat and potatoes of it, nothing I do could be accomplished if it wasn’t for God. He’s the one who gave me life. As humans we are a working race. We work for the things we have and we work to transform things from nothing into something beautiful. However, our work here means nothing if it does not serve God in some way. To me, working as if everything depended on God tells me that I need to work my hardest, but still leave room for God to take my works and let Him use them for His own purpose. It tells me that I need to trust in God to take over when I have done all I can, and most of all, to not stress about the things I cannot change.

I’ll be honest, writing this was a challenge. I must have written and rewritten this about 6-7 times so far. Maybe I was too wrapped up in myself to allow the Holy Spirit to work through me. Maybe I was too distracted and unfocused. I was once told that it doesn’t matter what you’re capable or incapable of, God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. I am not a writer, but I feel this urge to write, and when you let go of yourself, and all of your fears, doubts and insecurities, I’ve found that God will give you everything you need to be able to do His will.

One of my favorite Latin phrases is, Deus vult and it means, “God wills it”. It was used during the first crusade to rally people to the cause, but today it still has validity. You may have heard (possibly several times) that God has a special purpose for you. God wills it. His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. His will is to take me, some socially awkward kid, and put me in front of people to talk to them about Him. Oh trust me, I argued and fought it for a long time. I stutter, I slur words sometimes, and other times my words get mixed up and nothing makes any sense. “You really want ME to tell people about You? You would have better luck making a toad sing a jazz tune!” Well I was wrong, and ever since, I’ve gotten over my fear of public speaking and playing music publicly and i’m slowly getting over people reading my writings. It’s amazing what you can do when you work for God, and when everything you do depends on Him.

Deus Vult

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Deus Vult (God wills it)

The very first time I saw this phrase, I absolutely loved it. Then I found out what it meant! These two words have so much power behind them. When Pope Urban II declared the first crusade, the people cried out, “Deus vult! “. Today, however, there are no bloody crusades (authorized by the Church) for us to rally behind. The crusades were supposed to be about taking back what was forcefully taken from the Christians. It may have been twisted and changed over time to make the Catholic Church look like a war monger, but the original intent was to take back the holy land. Like I said, there are no bloody wars for us to get behind. However, there is still a war. A war to spread peace and to push back the evil that has forcibly taken ahold of this world. Deus vult! In a way, this is the new crusade – to bring back peace and love to this world – not through bloodshed and fear, but by spreading the love of God. All it takes for evil to win, is for good to do nothing. Will we idly sit by, or will we choose to stand up for what is right?

“Deus Vult”

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