How to Make a Difference

Pope Francis said something at World Youth Day that Fr. Z frequently quotes at his blog: “¡Vaya lio!” In the context of the Holy Father’s remarks, I believe it means something like “Make a holy mess in this world!”

Do you need to make a difference, make a “holy mess” somewhere? Obviously it is part of our universal vocation as Christians to do so by evangelizing–but have you felt a particular call or pull toward some specific problem or endeavor? Do you think you should organize a group at your church to pray for vocations to the priesthood? Start teaching a Sunday School class? Become a tertiary in a religious community?

When you set out to make a difference, here are some things you should do:

  • Pray for courage. As long as you are steeped in prayer, you will be guided by God and He will provide you with the spiritual grit that you will need to accomplish the hard things that He asks you to do. When it gets difficult for me I remember what Pope Benedict XVI said: “The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”
  • Rely on God.
  • Remember: He inspired your efforts to serve Him, and He will be with you.

  • Quickly take action.In the utmost charity, do what needs to be done that you think God has called you to do. If you over analyze, you’ll never get started. Do something, no matter how small, and take the first step!
  • Laugh as much as you can. Laugh at yourself first, so that the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune don’t get lodged in your ego. Then you must laugh at any so-called setbacks and misfortunes–they are proofs that 1) God loves you and is making you into a saint, if you cooperate with Him and 2) that probably you are doing something really powerful and God’s enemies want to stop it. That can be an encouraging thought!

If you don’t know what is ahead for you, keep in mind that truly, you don’t need to know–you are just called to trust and patiently work day by day. I’ll be praying for you!

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