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I am a work in progress

January 12, 2007


True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice.
Saint Francis de Sales

Chers Amis,

I love to make lists, in my head, on paper, on the computer.  Lists of things I do poorly, virtues that escape me, talents I wish I had or wish I had time to pursue, things to clean up, rooms to clean out, people I should call, things to make, buy, or throw away, goals to accomplish, habits to break or cement, projects to start – or finish, books to read, plans to make, posts to write, topics to research. I think I should wear a permanent black and yellow sign around my neck that reads, "I am a work in progress"  or maybe "Under construction. Please forgive my dust." A sign that would alert those around me that I know I am flawed and I AM working on it. – really! 

True progress quietly and persistently moves along without notice.” Saint Francis de Sales
I came across this quote the other day and I really love it because it urges my renovations on in a new spirit of  humility and purity of intention.  It makes me question what am I trying to do differently and why?  For whom? For others, for God, or for myself? Looking back during the year, I often wonder if I have progressed, if I am actually moving forward. If anyone has noticed a change or  improvement. Vanity of vanities, Marjorie. A wonderful spiritual director once reminded me that the only one we have to ultimately please is God.  If we seek to please Him and to use the gifts He has given us it will enrich everyone else too.

Today at Mass, Father gave a beautiful homily on how important it is to discern the gifts that God has given you.  He ventured that if he asked us what our sins were we would easily rattle off at least three or four (or fifteen), but if asked about our gifts, we would struggle to name them.  I don’t know that in all my list making I have ever enumerated my gifts or talents, it seemed so self-centered. Father pointed to the second reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians on the various gifts of the spirit:

1 Cor 12:4-11
"Brothers and sisters:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit;
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit."

Father asked, "What kind of instrument are you?  How do you make Christ present in this world with your gifts?" He urged us to take time to consider this concretely.  So this afternoon I am going to make another list, a list of those gifts and talents God has given me and I am going to brainstorm on how I can use them creatively to serve Him and at the same time bring joy to those around me.  Why don’t you make a list today too, we are all God’s works in progress, you know.



P.S. Father Jonathan Morris L.C.  wrote an interesting  piece recently  on New Years Resolutions entitled, "You Are My New Year’s Resolution." He suggests that most of our resolutions are about ourselves and suggests we focus outwards to loving others in simple words and actions.  It is a good read and his blog offers a unique window on the news of our world through eyes of faith. 

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 15, 2007 2:15 pm

    Wonderful post from start to finish. I love the idea of turning our resolutions around. Everything I’ve read from St. Francis de Sales is so wise and so beautiful. This is all so true.

  2. January 15, 2007 2:51 pm

    I love your new ‘pad’ and I am looking forward to reading more posts like this beautiful one right here!

  3. January 16, 2007 8:52 am

    Very beautiful and heart-felt, Marjorie! Thanks for sharing.

  4. January 18, 2007 1:58 pm

    Marjorie, this post was EXACTLY what I needed to read. Thank you for using your gift of writing in sharing it!

    Blessings from Minnesota, where a new layer of snow is freshly falling,


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