God has made each of us uniquely ourselves, and holiness consists of discovering the true self, the person we are before God, accepting that person, and becoming a saint in the process. Everyone’s true self is a unique creation of God’s, and the way to sanctity is to become the unique self that God wishes us to be.
The earliest example of the variety of ways to be Christian is found in the call of the First Disciples. Scripture scholar William Barclay in his Daily study Bible series offered some provocative insights on why Jesus of Nazareth might have chosen fishermen among his first disciples. Good fishermen are patient, they are brave, they are persevering, they know how to fit the bait to the fish, they know how to stay out of sight, and so on; all good qualities for a disciple, too.
What about everyone else? Why would Jesus call, say a tax collector and a religious zealot, and among his wider circle of disciples, notorious sinners? One reason may have been that Jesus saw each disciple’s ability to contribute something unique to the community. The unity of the church, both then and now, encompasses diversity.
Mother Teresa catches this insight in her most famous saying: “You can do something I cannot do. I can do something you cannot do. Together let us do something beautiful for God.” God awakens our vocations primarily through our desires. A man and a woman, for example, come together in love out of desire and so discover their vocation as a married couple.
Therefore we can conclude that “Holiness is not the luxury of a few. It is everyone’s duty: yours and mine”, and the path of Holiness is a continual growth that is a journey towards God. Finding God means allowing ourselves to be found by God. And finding our True Selves means allowing God to find and reveal our True Selves to us.
This is the third part of Ian Diacono’s review of James Martin’s Becoming Who You Are.