“Do not try to please everybody. Try to please God, the angels, and the saints – they are your public.”
– St. John Vianney
Today is the memorial of St. John Vianney. While I do not know very many details of his life it is apparent that he has made a great impact in the Church. Growing up in a Catholic family, living amongst war in France, and eventually becoming a priest he always devoted his life to God. The quote above is a pivotal message for all of us, and St. John Vianney lived this through his vocation to the priesthood and by serving the poor (a value of which his family instilled while he was growing up).
Today I look for inspiration from the above quote given by this beloved saint. How often do I try to please everyone else? I can tell you the answer is all the time. While I want to please God I know that I am always worried about what others think. Whether it is regarding my conversion to the Catholic faith or the openness to life that my fiance and I will have when we get married it is hard not to face scrutiny for living a life for God when we live in a culture that is so unaware of their need for God.
As we go about life, trying to follow the will of God, we must keep our eyes on Christ and know that we are living for the Kingdom rather than the temporary state we have here on Earth. While we live in the state of historical man, as St. John Paul II calls our state after the fall of Adam and Eve, we are called to live in a way that leads to sainthood: our state in Heaven called eschatological man.
It is tough going into the world. Everyday I have to remind myself that I live for God. Although I often forget this He will remind me of the fact that He is my audience with gentle reminders of His presence. Life is so fast paced, with various demands placed upon us day in and day out. We can choose to live in anxiety about what others think of us on a daily basis or we can choose to let Love reign in our hearts and daily work. Be encouraged to know that God is with you and that He will give you the grace to follow Him, to make Him and all of Heaven your audience. Rejoice as Heaven cheers you on in this race of life.
“In Christ and through Christ humanity has acquired full awareness of its dignity and the meaning of its existence.”
-St. John Paul II
Nathalie Hanson is a special education teacher and a joyful convert to the Catholic faith with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). She loves to share her passion for Catholicism with others, including her conversion story and how God continues to work miracles in her life through her OCD. Nathalie is engaged to her best friend, Diocesan’s Tommy Shultz, and she is beyond excited to become Mrs. Shultz this October. Her favorite saints include St. Peter the Apostle, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and St. John Paul II. If you have any questions for Nathalie, or just want her to pray for you, you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.