“I don’t think people realize how irreplaceable they are,” one of the religious sisters I lived with told me one night.
Although she made that comment almost two years ago, I revisit the message daily: We truly are gifts. Perhaps this Lent, we can feast on our giftedness while fasting from comparing ourselves to others.
What does it mean to be a gift?
It means, first of all, going to that place of solitude, the place of transformation where we encounter our vulnerabilities and wounds. It means, then, that we go into the desert with Jesus, just as He did before he began his ministry.
It requires us to come to that place where we have nothing to prove and to simply allow ourselves to be loved. It means embracing our humanity just as Jesus did – weaknesses and all.
Thus, it can only be life-giving if we allow ourselves to reverence our uniqueness. One of the best ways to do this is not compare our state of life, happiness, weaknesses, or successes with those of others. There is absolutely no room for competition in the Kingdom of God.
This means not comparing the gift that I am to the gift that anyone else is – and finding joy in that truth. It means reminding ourselves that when our gift is not accepted the way we may want it to be, our worth is in no way decreased. It means seeing everyone I encounter as teachers – and intentionally thanking them for revealing to me the deep truths of myself.
So together, let us fast from the temptation to compare and instead feast on gratitude for the gifts that we are and that we are in the process of becoming.
Is this specific to a spiritual of singleness?
But it is unequivocally part of a spirituality of single-mindedness to the Spirit, which still persists long after we have found someone.
Reflection question: What comparison must I stop making?
Read other reflections written by CatholicMatch members:
- Day 18 – Darrell-622889: ‘Single Life, Followed By Easter Joy’
- Day 17 – Rosalia-544329: ‘Amazingly, I Feel Saved’
- Day 16 – Sherry-118409: ‘My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?’
- Day 15 – Matthew-695017: ‘Lent Is Not A Dark & Gloomy Time’
- Day 14 – Dawn-58330: ‘I want To Have Faith Like A Child’
- Day 13 – Dan-595920: ‘I Always Find Excuses’
- Day 12 – Annette-639693: ‘In The Quiet I Hear God’s Voice Clearly’
- Day 11 – Ron-40989: ‘Remember We Are Purifying Our Love’
- Day 10 – Linda-504414: ‘God Might Be Trying To Teach Us Something Vital’
- Day 9 – Andy-246798: ‘I’m Happy To Take A Break From Dating Women’
- Day 8 – Marci-365801: ‘I’m Worried I Have Drifted Off Course’
- Day 7 –Tina-401203: ‘Waiting For Our Lives To Begin’
- Day 6 – Erik-215414: ‘No One Said This Was Going To Be Easy’
- Day 5 – Cate-291547: ‘I Felt Stuck In A Second Adolescence’
- Day 4 – Ryan-672439: ‘God Loves A Good Comeback’
- Day 3 – Theresa-630252: ‘I Think Of This As Preparation Time’
- Day 2 – Barb-505508: ‘We Have To Read Between The Lines’
- Day 1 – Richard-632838: ‘I Recognize How Much I Need God’s Grace’