I want to share something with you. First a word of warning; what I am about to share will seem almost too simple. So, it’s likely that you might be tempted to reject it. It is not a new idea but as old as the human race. However, the simple things are the things that can, and do change each of us.
The famous psychologist, Alfred Adler, wrote these words almost 100 years ago and they still remain true today:
“It is the individual who is not interested in his fellow men
who has the greatest difficulties in life
and provides the greatest injury to others.
It is from among such individuals that all human failures spring.”
Let’s face it, as human beings; we are focused on ourselves most of the time. It can be difficult to really begin to attempt to be sincerely interested in other people, even family. In our culture today most of our interactions are transactional. Even many of the movements within the Catholic Church have remained transactional and are criticized as following a business model. Needless to say, we are not known for our evangelization.
We live in the time in which many are still rallying behind Pope St John Paul II’s call to the ‘New Evangelization in the Catholic Church’. You say that call isn’t anything new, but it needs to be new because the world is a different place. In America, most people encounter one another and are met with apathy. Our people are starving, and not just for food. The majority of Americans are starving for purpose, meaning, and passion in their lives. On the whole, we are a disconnected and disheartened people. No wonder those who often fill the pews in church make you wonder where the casket is at every Mass. Who’s excited about a funeral? Our God is a Living God, and if we are striving for the life of Grace, we should be alive too. How then do we become more fully alive? How do we inspire and evangelize those around us?
We live out our dreams.
Sound ridiculous? Well, if you’re not living out your dreams, you’re probably not helping to evangelize. Christ came so that you would have life abundantly. His words – not mine. So playing small doesn’t do anybody any favors. People aren’t attracted to a corpse – rigid, humorless, joyless, and lifeless. Life takes faith and courage. Dreams take faith and courage. You want to know someone, get to know their dreams. No dreams you say? Well, get to it. Do you think that St. Mother Theresa, Pope St. John Paul II, and St. Francis of Assisi weren’t dreamers?
Every day will then become filled with intention knowing that every step is to fulfill our dreams and purpose in life. Christ spent his whole life intentionally building to the climax in His passion and resurrection. Nothing was wasted, everything mattered. Why can’t we seem to master this in our own life? Why are we afraid to imitate Christ? I think we are afraid to dream, afraid to pause and enter the silence-maybe then we would get inspiration-oh no! We’re supposed to be adults with responsibilities, remember, serious stuff. Regardless of the excuse, it makes us into boring stiffs. The joy has been stolen.
Start to dream on purpose, dream of becoming a saint.
Dreams only become reality if they involve goals, a plan, and accountability. In this ‘new evangelization’ what if each of us genuinely became interested in our dreams and – the dreams of those around us? If we aren’t interested in other’s dreams, we aren’t feeding people what they crave. They crave someone who cares and wants what they want. They don’t care what we want for them. People want to know they matter and know that we have their best interests at heart. That is why so many people leave the Catholic Church. We don’t speak to their interests, only to our own. People are designed for their own dreams, not ours.
How many relationships that you know of have been injured or damaged because people weren’t interested in the other person’s dreams? At work and in our families, dreams have been replaced by criticism.
If you can see and assist people in reaching what they want in their life then they will have loyalty and love for you – as well as what you stand for. Everyone starts to feel a sense of joy. Remember people disagreed with Pope St John Paul II and St Mother Theresa, but they respected and admired them. When you move outside yourself you exercise charity. As Catholics, we need to start asking each other what our dreams are. If we did then the Church and the world would be in a much different place. We would see we belong to one another and there would be dialogue instead of fear, aggression, and isolation.
If someone helped you achieve your dreams, they fed you. They fed you in a way no one else would. They became interested, sincerely in you, and they are better for it and so are you. Didn’t Jesus always ask people what they wanted? He was always interested in those around Him. Isn’t this what the Christian life is about? To help everybody to get to heaven and to remember that not everybody is going there the same way.
Today: Start writing down your dreams and find someone to hold you accountable for achieving them- spouse, friend, or coworker. Begin asking everyone in your family what their dreams are and do what you can to help them to achieve them. We live for our dreams, then – we’ll find others to help to do the same. As we do this, our passion for life increases and we become the people God created us to be. The kind that makes other people say, “What’s different about him?”
And guess what? You’ve already evangelized!
- Dreaming to Be a Catholic - January 19, 2017
- Apples and Amnesia: Treating the Scarcity that Plagues Us All - December 13, 2016
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