What did I do today that matters? Sometimes the mundane and yet busy daily life can seem ordinarily boring without significant meaning. I can belittle my work, motherhood, and small acts of love that are largely private.
We currently live in a society that values what we do publicly more than what we do privately; our worth is based on what we achieve or do. Our value is based on our usefulness to society at large, not to individuals. This culture is hard to fight. It makes us value numbers in our Bible studies and Parish events more than depth and true conversion.
Our society devalues stay at home parents. It discourages spouses who put boundaries on their work. It looks down upon religious vocations and practices that call to quiet, stillness, contemplation. All of these are critical to mental, physical, and spiritual health, but our culture doesn’t prioritize them because they do not produce concrete results.
However, God doesn’t value what society prioritizes. We need to remember above all else that our dignity and worth is found in the truth that we are daughters and sons of God and we get to reflect his unconditional love.
How We Reflect God
Our primary vocation is to love, love God, and love all those around us. Love is not tangible. You cannot directly quantify its impact and immediately see its results. But it matters, and this is our greatest commandment, what we are called to do through our mission.
We have the honor through loving to reflect God into the world, and there is nothing that could matter more. We are His sons and daughters, and we are made in His image and likeness. All facets of society need image bears who genuinely love the other. We need to love each person we come into contact with in this manner.
Genesis 1:26-27 states, “God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God, he created him; male and female he created them.” He did not create haphazardly. He created each one of us to reflect his image uniquely through our femininity, masculinity, talents, gifts, and personalities.
This is what makes humans different. We have the capacity to be Christ to the world and for our leadership to be Christ-centered. We get to be image-bearers, but how do we maximize this capability? How do we allow God to work through his creation?
The Goal of a Virtuous Life
In our habits video, we talked about Catechism paragraph 1803, which states, “The goal of the virtuous life is to become like God.” Again we need virtue to be leaders. Saint Augustine highlights that what makes us more like God and less like animals is our intellect and will.
Saint Thomas Aquinas further discusses the powers of the soul being the intellect, will, and passions. Our intellect seeks truth. Let’s take travel as an example. The intellect is like Google Maps, it sees your destination and helps point you in the right direction.
Our will strives for good or perfection. The will is like the driver of the car. The driver has to get up off the couch and into the car in order to actually get anywhere. In the same way, we have to choose to pursue a course of action in order for us to get anywhere in the moral life.
Lastly, passions influence or intensify actions. The rightly ordered will guides the movements of the senses to the good; where on the other hand an evil will succumbs to disordered passions and makes them worse. In our travel example, passions would be the type of vehicle you are taking to get to your destination. Disordered passions would be like my first car, a 1985 Ford Bronco with a top speed of 55mph and would break down on the side of the road constantly. A rightly ordered passion would be like hopping in an F-16 fighter jet and flying Mach 2. Needless to say at those speeds, you get places fast!
Ultimately, by forming our intellect and will, through consistent habits that align with our priorities, we can bring light and truth to the world through our virtuous leadership. So what did I do today that matters?
So What Did I Do Today?
I was an image-bearer, I got to reflect God to my co-workers, friends, spouse, and children. What an honor, and what an important responsibility. Through these private and small acts of great love, we can change the world one soul at a time. When I look at my day in light of the responsibility to love, things like washing the dishes, doing the laundry, reading a children’s book for the 15 times today, previously seemed burdensome, but now can have significant meaning, because we are all called to be leaders.
Learn more about this topic in the video below!