We are created in the image and likeness of God, with unique gifts that we are called to share. “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).
Studies repeatedly show that people who have a reason to get up in the morning live healthier, happier lives. Passions that drive us to make this world more loving and beautiful give us great joy.
But determining those gifts are often difficult to realize. St. Theodora encouraged her sisters to pray for direction. She said, “Let us beg our Lord to choose for us that which will unite us more closely to Him; and beseech Him for the light, the grace, and the strength we need to do in all things His adorable Will” (Letter to the sisters, March 8, 1846).
This is what St. Theodora did when she was a child. At the age of 10 years old, she dedicated herself to God. On the day of her First Holy Communion, she promised to do whatever God asked of her. Daily, St. Theodora prayed for God to direct her, to lead her where God wanted her to go. She prayed, listened, and trusted God to show her the way as well provide all that was needed to accomplish God’s plan.
At only fifteen years of age, St. Theodora prayed for God to show here how to care for her bedridden mother and her little sister. As a young woman, she prayed how she could serve the Lord best. Once she determined that God wanted her to become a religious woman, she prayed in which order to serve.
One of the major decisions of her life was if God wanted her to lead a group of women to the American wilderness to build schools for children and young women. Once here, her life’s purpose was to be determined in an even greater way. No matter how dismal a situation appeared, she trusted in Providence. She trusted everything to the Lord.
St. Theodora allowed God to work through her from her childhood to her deathbed fully knowing, when doing God’s work, God leads and provides us with everything we need.
If you want to know God’s purpose for your life, ask the Lord. Then be quiet. Listen. We can’t hear when we are doing all the talking and planning.
©2015, Mary K. Doyle