I am five years old. I’m sitting in my bedroom, pondering as I tend to do at this age. “God, I just want you to know that I am here when you need me,” I silently pray as I gingerly caress a favorite image of Our Lady. “I want to do great things for You one day.”
This was not an uncommon prayer for me as a little girl, though I later discovered that it was unusual for most kids to be thinking in such a way at such a young age. For me, it was a fire that had been planted in my heart at Baptism. That fire awakened when I began Catholic grade school, and it only emblazoned all the more fiercely as I grew older, received the sacraments of First Holy Communion, First Confession, and my Confirmation.
The Holy Spirit set his seal upon my heart. It was time for me to discover my purpose on earth.
We are all anointed, brothers and sisters. Our Baptism seals us as God’s beloved ones. And, as such anointed people, we are all called to greatness, to do great things for God as I once prayed as a youngster. Your calling differs from mine, but they are all from the same great Source: the Holy Spirit.
How do we live as God’s anointed ones when life is so hectic and seems to get in the way of all we long for and dream of? I’m not sure I have an exact answer, but I do know that it involves the risk of vulnerability.
When you and I are vulnerable, that is open to authentic and wholehearted living, we become clay in God’s hands. First, we must become broken, and that brokenness is what we feel on a daily basis: lost, alone, afraid, overwhelmed, exhausted, confused. Maybe we just feel nothing, a sort of numbness that has led us to a place of complacency or apathy as we maintain the daily drudgery of life.
But God wants more from you and me, my friends. He is calling us every day to continually hand Him our brokenness, our weakness, our littleness. How can we truly serve Him when we are still serving ourselves? Living our anointing means that we become totally His—totus tuus, as was St. John Paul II’s personal motto—and belonging to another means we no longer live for ourselves.
And that is why we feel broken and alone in such a cold and calloused world.
To move beyond where you are, you must allow that brokenness to reach a place of His wholeness. Recall how He allowed Himself to suffer and die an unthinkable death so that you and I might live eternally. His brokenness became our wholeness. That is why being broken ourselves and living in total dependence on God each day is a necessary first step in living our anointing, or our calling on earth.
I’ve come to understand that living our anointing extends beyond what we expect. It’s more than going to work every day. It’s more than doing the laundry. It’s more than taking the kids to soccer practice or piano lessons. It’s beyond the mundane. Even if your life ends up being one that is hidden, like St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s was, when you live your anointing, you are moving beyond the ordinary into the eternal. Doing the laundry becomes an opportunity to pray the rosary. Taking the kids to soccer practice becomes a way to discuss with them how life is going and what kinds if issues they are encountering in the real world. Going to the office is a place where countless opportunities arise to evangelize to others.
Live your anointing. It will not be easy, friends. It will challenge you. It will change you. But you, in turn, will encourage others. You will, one by one, change the world through the influence of your life: through every conversation, every smile, every act of kindness. Don’t underestimate the simple ways you are called to be Jesus today and to encounter Jesus in others.
Be open. That’s the first step. When your heart is open, you are ready to become malleable clay in His hands. Even should He choose to shatter you when you are a finished clay pot, you will not be dismayed but rather, overjoyed. For a life lived in and for Christ is a life fulfilled. There will be no greater way you can give back to Him than by giving Him everything, starting today.
This article first appeared on Integrated Catholic Life.