Properly Oriented

Today I find myself recalling a homily from one of our priest friends on Ash Wednesday. He touched on the three main tenets of Lent; prayer, fasting and almsgiving but he went further to instruct on how these should orient our lives beyond Lent. After all, God created us for labor, love and leisure. I think that first one gets forgotten sometimes or at least pushed a little lower on the priority list. God clearly does not want us to neglect ourselves but love and leisure are often byproducts of labor. 

This was the point that our friend was making when he spoke to the assembly. We are happiest and most fulfilled when we are working for the service of others. Money and success can better enable us to help our neighbors but they themselves cannot be the goal. It’s easy to fall into the habit of defining new challenges in life by what we can get out of them. I’m certainly guilty of this. But this thinking is precisely backwards. 

We should not be the center of our own lives. The Sun around which our worlds must revolve is the Son of God. We can only ensure this proper orientation toward Christ through genuine service. Only when we give ourselves to other people can we experience the bliss of doing God’s work. 

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