When you think about success in life, what first comes to mind? Holiness? Or do your dreams of success consist of being glamorous and famous, like the gorgeous people in those glossy magazines in the check-out lines
by Kristian Jaloway, LC | Source:
When you think about success in life, what first comes to mind? Holiness? Or do your dreams of success consist of being glamorous and famous, like the gorgeous people in those glossy magazines in the check-out lines? Life would be so much easier then! Everybody would love you, and you would have the money to travel, to live in style, and to be a true cosmopolitan.
Shandra is a young woman who could easily be defined as a cosmopolitan girl. As a straight-A student in high-school, she worked part-time in an exclusive gift-shop. By her senior year she was in charge of purchasing, buying products from all over the US, Europe and Asia. After graduating from high-school with a 9.9 grade-point average, she earned a liberal arts degree and then began medical school at the University of Texas. She dated lawyers, doctors, and sports stars. Everything was on track: the world was open before her, and she was ready to live life to the full!
Yet something didn’t seem quite right. Shandra had always been generous with her time, volunteering Saturday mornings to visit the nursing home with the Junior Legion of Mary and leading her own club for young Catholic girls as well. She was always ready to lend a helping hand to whoever was in need, but, somehow, she still didn’t feel fulfilled. What was missing?
Shandra honestly wanted to find out and began looking at other possibilities for her life. Religious life with Mother Theresa’s nuns, lay consecrated life, full-time missions: they all had their appeal, but somehow God didn’t seem to be leading her there. Finally, through the million coincidences (or shall we call them providentialities) of life, she met up again with Andrew, a young man she had dated in college. Not without trepidation, she felt that here God was finally making known to her his will, to give herself totally to the formation of a Catholic family.
Ten years later, with four beautiful boys, she doesn’t have a state of the art cell-phone as a status symbol. Many of her friends sacrifice spending much of the necessary time with their families in order to maintain their social life. Instead, she often declines invitations preferring to be with Andrew and their children.
Joking in a recent e-mail, she wrote, “See, there it is: I should get a tutoring salary for this home-schooling! And one for housekeeper and cook and personal shopper, etc, etc! I’d be rich!” Indeed, being a wife and mother requires all of her love and generosity, besides being far more challenging than many other walks of life, and also more rewarding.
Shandra has found what was missing: total self-giving. She has found that being loved is not about being gorgeous and famous, but about loving unconditionally. Every day Shandra, like millions of other cosmo-moms, gives herself totally to her husband and family. She sacrificed and continues to sacrifice many possibilities of parties and travels, of missions and even humanitarian endeavors because family needs her—all out of love of God and neighbor. If that isn’t sanctity, what is?