Last month (June 18th) I mentioned that, to prepare for our centenary year of the foundation of the Daughters of Saint Paul, I wanted to share a bit more about our communication spirituality and how it’s transformed my life.
These words were the theme of one of our recent General Chapters, and they have really stayed with me as a way of understanding and expressing what it means to be a Daughter of Saint Paul. At the same time, in a general way, these words apply to everyone who has been baptized!
Chosen and loved
The basic foundation of life is love. We are created by a God who loves us so much that he chooses to create us (not one of the other countless possibilities God in his infinity could come up with). As Saint Paul uses this phrase, though, it means even more than our being created by Love. “Chosen and loved” also means that we are chosen for a special reason, a unique purpose that only we can fulfill.
In The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien describes creation as God’s beautiful symphony. Each of us has our unique part to play in God’s universe-sized orchestra. Sometimes we carry the melody, sometimes we might play harmony, sometimes we provide back up or “depth” to another instrument, and sometimes we may simply be silent (or turn the page of the score for another player). But always we are interweaving with others, offering our unique “sound” to the symphony of beauty and purpose that God has designed.
Being chosen means that God gives us the joy of being special, of being needed, of having purpose in this world, of making a difference in others’ lives, of giving ourselves fully in love–which is the deepest joy we can experience as human beings.
in Christ Jesus
This phrase totally captures Saint Paul’s spirit, and I hope that someday, it totally captures the whole of my life experience. Because of the gift of my Baptism and God’s grace, all of my life is in Christ, whether I realize it or not.
But it’s not enough for me to simply know this. I want to respond to his loving invitation to “remain in him” (John 15:4) and completely dedicate every moment of my life to Christ. I want all my efforts and motives to be focused on seeking the kingdom of God; I want my every thought, word, feeling and action to be fully his.
I am still far from my goal of belonging completely to Christ, but my comfort is that he knows that my desire for this is growing, and it is his grace that will transform me so that one day–in heaven if not on earth–I will belong completely to him.
This real, passionate, “total” relationship with Christ becomes the foundation of all my actions and choices, as I hope to post about further next week: together we communicate the Gospel to everyone.