“The Lord measures out perfection neither by the multitude nor the magnitude of our deeds, but by the manner in which we perform them.” ~ St. John of the Cross
There is something that gets into our psyche that tells us that we cannot do something good unless we do something big. Somehow, the two have to go hand in hand. If we do something small, we often believe that it is trivial and/or unimportant. However, that cannot be further from the truth.
We began Lent a few weeks ago. When we began, we more than likely made resolutions for ourselves. Some of our resolutions were external resolutions and some were internal. Some were negative resolutions, as in giving something up, and others were positive resolutions, as in adding a good work to our daily lives.
The resolutions, if they were to be workable and able to be done throughout the entire season, should not have been too large. The larger and more involved the resolutions, the higher the chance that the resolution will be broken. Again, the larger of the large resolutions would be the first to break.
God does not care about the size of our resolutions or about the number of times that we perform them. What God cares about is the condition of our souls and what our souls are communicating to Him as we do our resolutions.
When we are in the midst of fulfilling our resolutions, what are we thinking? Are we thinking that the resolutions are something that are required of us so we had best get them accomplished? Are we thinking that God will think better of us if we do bigger things or more things than the year before? Are we trying to earn that proverbial gold star from God? Or, instead, are our resolutions our souls’ attempt to draw closer to our maker by deeds of mortification and of self-giving?
A simple gesture or a simple act often can go a long way in communicating our desire. A simple act or gesture toward another can let that person know how very much we care. That same simple gesture or act, performed in the purest of intention and love, can be a greater gift to God than something that was conceived not to serve Him but to impress Him.
When you think about it, there is no reason at all to impress God. He is already impressed with us because He created us in His image and likeness. What God wants from us is a loving response. Our acts of kindness to others, our gestures of concern for others, and our intentions to do good for all show God that we truly understand what He has done for us and what He means to us.
FAITH ACTION: Perform your various Lenten resolutions not out of obligation, but, out of joy and desire.