I have noticed recently that I often divide things into two categories: Useful and Useless. That which is useful gets the right to remain with me while that which is useless is condemned to the garbage. This is certainly relevant when it comes to cleaning up a house or a car, but I sometimes get stuck seeing the world, other people, and even myself in these two categories. If I don’t do something that is relevant, successful or popular, then I have proven to myself that I am indeed useless and a failure. Voices and worries follow closely after this thought and before I know it, I am judging myself as if I had no discernible value.
While many have told me and continue to tell me that I have worth and am a good person, I am still plagued by the worries that I will not do anything worthy with my life, that I am wasting it unless I do something drastic and meaningful. But weirdly enough, the way I escape these thoughts is not by reasserting that I am good or by fighting bitterly with them. I beat them by acknowledging that I am indeed useless. There are many things that I cannot do by myself; I would not even exist if it were not for God’s abiding presence and providential care! I am a fundamentally dependent creature that just likes to believe that he can do things on his own without the help of the Other.
Once I recognize that I am useless there is only one thing for me to do: go to the One who calls me, to the God who Loves me. I am literally nothing without God. If I move away from God, I enter deeper into nothingness. And I try to fill that nothingness with things that will prove I am useful and valuable. I go to work, relationships, popularity, tv, etc. as sources of value, but all these things prove incapable of confirming and sustaining my goodness. God wants me to come closer to Him. He wants me to be filled with His Love so that I may become His instrument in the orchestra of creation. He invites me to grow into something beautiful for Him with my life, and it must start with the initial and continuing acceptance of His Love with my free will. For it is this Love that allows me to Love, and without it, I am once again caught in the trap of seeking my goodness in other things and avoiding the reality that I am useless.
Our Blessed Mother knew well that she was useless and could not do anything without God. Everything she gives to God is that which is constantly given to her. And even in the face of utter hopelessness and despair at the foot of Jesus’ Cross, she still received everything that God gave to her and continues to give the graces of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to all who implore her intercession. To those who read this blog, I invite you to sit with Mary at the foot of the cross and receive the graces she received from her Son’s heart. Receive His deep Love for you and let it be the fundamental reality that proves to you and all around you, that you are good. May we have the courage to say that God’s Love is enough for us, that it proves we are fundamentally good and valued people. Blessed Virgin Mary, Pray for us.
This 23rd day of November - Year of St. Joseph 2021
Feast of Pope St. Clement