St. Rose of Lima said, “Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. The gift of grace increases as the struggle increases.” Well, 2020 has given us plenty of struggle, and plenty of opportunities to grow in grace. Do you find that the last year has made you a better person?
Recently on Trending with Timmerie, Timmerie discussed a recent study in which a majority of respondents said that they believe they have become a better person this year. Two-thirds of respondents said they think they are a better person, and a staggering 70% said that they have learned something about themselves this year.
Timmerie said, “The last few months I’ve heard from so many of you about the transitions you have been through in your own life. People have told me how they have emphasized prayer. They’ve started praying the Rosary as a family. They’ve started reading for the first time in years.”
She also referred to another finding of the survey in which 55% of those polled were actually embarrassed by some of the things that they held as valuable prior to the quarantine. Timmerie pointed out that it is not a bad thing to recognize that there are areas of your life you’re not proud of. In fact, it can be the starting point for becoming a better person.
“Self-awareness really is a game-changer,” she said, referencing a quote from St. Faustina Kowalska, in which St. Faustina said, “O joy that flows from the knowledge of one’s self!”
The context of this quote, Timmerie explained, is that St. Faustina was talking about Jesus being an incredible teacher, but she revealed that she became frightened when she looked at her own misery. However, St. Faustina goes on to say, “At the same time I am reassured by your unfathomable mercy, which exceeds my misery.”
“I love that statement,” Timmerie said. “Because it’s true that if we look at our own misery, if we start to turn in on ourselves, we can become really afraid by what we see. The ugliness of our actions. Our bad habits. But if we are able to look at ourselves and then look at Christ, it’s a game-changer. Because God’s mercy really does exceed all of our misery.”
Timmerie encouraged listeners to look to the lives of the saints, and how their lives were continually transformed by their relationship with Christ. She pointed out that at the center of this transformation, the best way to become a better person, is the Eucharist.
“The Eucharist is meant to change us,” she said. “We are supposed to be conformed to the Body of Christ. Not use God to get ahead, to not use God or religion as a means to manipulate people, to hold it over people’s heads, or to guilt them. No, that’s not freedom.”
“But if we can look to the Eucharist and understand this should affect a transformation in each and every single one of us, then our lives will be changed the way the saints’ lives were changed.”
While there is so much in our world right now that we can’t control, we do have the freedom to control who and what we focus on, and keep our eyes on Christ to become who he created us to be.
“Remember, you have a choice,” Timmerie emphasized. “And we are called to exercise our freedom. But freedom is for the good, not to just do whatever you want. And that is where we discover authentic joy – when we look into ourselves, look up at Christ, and see his light upon our lives, directing us to where we ought to go.”
Listen to the full conversation below: