A conversation between two students during lunchtime:
“The apple is sad.”
“It is? How do you know?”
“It just is. Can you imagine being threatened with digestion all day? I would be afraid all the time!”
“But... if it’s an apple, it was made to be eaten. Maybe that’s what it’s looking forward to.”
Having overheard this conversation, it seemed more humorous than anything else. Working with theatre students at the Stratford Shakespeare School all day, claiming that they say bizarre things would be an understatement. But there is something to this playful exchange that I found very deep: the notion that we are all made for something.
We are often told that we are all called to sainthood. We were made to be daughters and sons of God; made to be loved unconditionally. Our heads know this, but our hearts may take longer to respond. The world can be a beautiful place where love is exhibited, but it is far from perfect. Despite our efforts, we can never fully be sustained or fulfilled by the world alone. We were made for more, because we were made in a divine image.
Taking the example of a car: it is a mobile machine, made to take people from point A to point B. It performs the best, and is the safest, when it’s on a paved road following the rules of the highway. We might be tempted to think that the “rules” govern the car’s freedom. Why can’t it do whatever it wants, wherever it wants? Sure, the vehicle can certainly try to fly through the air, trudge through 6 feet of mud, and swim through a lake, but is it really the best thing for its worth and performance? Was the car really made
for this sort of work? Will it be at its peak of happiness? Not really. In fact, there are other things made for those purposes. It would take away from the unique ability of the car if every machine could drive.
We each have talents, desires, and duties to explore. Some as scientists, engineers, psychologists and doctors; others as chefs, librarians and business managers. And what about the artists, teachers, scholars and athletes? We each have a desire that calls us to action; a way to love and serve each other. These callings help us realize our full potential.
But there is something even greater that calls us beyond “doing” and more deeply into “being.” Serving as a religious figure, a married spouse, or consecrated single isn’t just something we serve as, it’s who we are. These vocations are how we were made to be in love! The result is always intimacy with Christ and service to each other, but we are offered different avenues to get there.
In the grand scheme, we are a community of people, made in the image and likeness of God. But in the details, we are unique beings, showing different faces of Christ. We are called to be ourselves, but to be our best selves.
This post comes to us from Leanna Cappiello, a former S+L intern and graduate of Assumption University in Windsor, Ontario who recently served as an intern at the Holy See Mission to the United Nations and is currently working at the Stratford Shakespeare School in Stratford, Ontario.