Determining Character

17 Mar

“It is what we do routinely, not what we do rarely, that delineates the character of a person.”  ~ Joan D. Chittister

If we are going to be serious about today’s quote, perhaps we may all feel more than a bit guilty especially as we apply it to our Lenten practices.  We may have decided to give something up for Lent.  We may have decided to do some kind of positive good for Lent.  We may have increased our prayer life for Lent.  For Lent.  For Lent.  For Lent.

What about the rest of the year?  Are we just “good Catholics” during Lent?  Do we not carry our resolutions throughout the year in an attempt to change our lives daily so as to be more like Christ?  Or, do we look forward to the end of the season so that we can go back to our old ways?  This really is a crucial question as it points to our character.

John Wooden would agree with Sr. Chittister as he is well-known for his quote, “The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”  In many ways, both quotes offer the same insight.  We are who we are and that character drives our lives.  If we pretend to be something we are not, people see through us.  Rest assured, if people do not see through us, God most certainly does.

We cannot “do” Lent by making all sorts of resolutions that will not change us and make us better.  If we make our resolutions merely for show or because it is expected of us, Lent will have been wasted.  No, Lent is not something that is “done.”  It is something that is embraced.  It is something that imbues us with the desire to do more for the Lord than we have done the day before.  It is something that challenges us to become more like Christ day by day.

To become more like Christ is not only a Lenten goal.  It is, or should be, a goal that is a part of every day of our lives.  The character of our soul is reflected in our daily goals and our daily practices.  Let people know that you are a believer today by reflecting that which is deep within.

FAITH ACTION:  Make sure that you consistently show God’s love in your words and actions today.