Your Life has great purpose

Your Life has great purpose

Sometimes it may seem to us that there is no purpose in our lives, that going day after day for years to this office or that school or factory is nothing else but waste and weariness. But it may be that God has sent us there because but for us, Christ would not be there. If our being there means that Christ is there, that alone makes it worthwhile” [Caryll Houselander – mystic, writer, artist, visionary and healer].

This quote from Caryll has sat with me over several years and I keep coming back to it from time to time. I take it, then, as a sign I am to write about it.

One of the truths of our faith is that Jesus is always with us, every one of us – a promise he gave. And yet, Caryll’s words imply that if I am not doing what I am called to do – amongst other people in daily situations – Christ would not be there. So, there’s the paradox. If Christ is in all of us, how can he not be present in this office, school of factory?

It would seem to mean that not everyone is aware of Christ within. And thus, we are called to be there day after day, for years, to be who we are – Christians who live lives of love; who love God above all and who love one another as Jesus loves us. It is in living lives of love that we are seen by others to be Christians, and thus to be examples to others.

St Paul makes it clear: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. But how can they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone to preach? And how can people preach unless they are sent?” [Romans 10:13-15]

Now, that’s all very well, we might say, but I am not ordained under Holy Orders to be a preacher, therefore who am I to preach?

That’s where we need to heed the words of St Francis of Assisi, when he said: “The deeds you do may be the only sermon some persons will hear today.” Another way of saying: Actions speak louder than words.

As laity, we may not be ordained to preach, but we are called to live our lives in love, to love one another. Therefore, we are called to be examples of love to ALL those around us.

A poet makes it clear:

I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day;
I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.
The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear,
Fine counsel is confusing, but example’s always clear;
And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,
For to see good put in action is what everybody needs …
[Sermons We See – Edgar Guest].

Again, we may not be ordained ministers and preachers, but we are all commissioned by Jesus, who wants us to share the saving message of the Gospel with our friends, neighbours, and family. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you… [Matthew 28:18].

The Catechism of the Catholic Church, tells us that the Sacrament of Confirmation: “gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross” (CCC 1303).

The sharing of the Good News is not something reserved for only those who are ordained. All followers of Jesus are called and empowered to do so. That’s us folks! – each one of us.

But why do we need to be Christ to others, to be examples of love to those around us? It’s simple really! We must go out because we want to share with all people the abundant love and hope, joy and peace that Jesus brought to us … What we have received is so beautiful and so rich that we cannot hold it for ourselves but feel compelled to bring it to every human being we meet’ [Bread for the Journey – Henri J. M. Nouwen].

Realise that your life has great purpose. Realise that your deeds may be the only sermon some people will hear today. Realise that if your being where you are means that Christ is there, “that alone makes it worthwhile.


Have a golden day and treasure life!