How are we making a life and not just making a living?

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)


In this year of faith, we should consider our own life’s vocation and the faith that we hand on to generations that come after us.  Sometimes, the most powerful part of the faith tradition that we pass on is in fact our words and deeds and our service to the community.


“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” –Albert Schweitzer



There’s a phrase “that we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”  For Albert Schwietzer, that life led him to Africa where he served for many years.  As I reflect on the faith that I will be handing on to my child(ren), I have to realize that in many ways, for me, sowing seeds that benefit others probably will not mean traveling to another country to serve the poor—unless that is the purpose I was born to fulfill.  However, like most people, helping and caring for others is something that I do right here at home, whether it’s spending more time with my family, developing relationships to make our work/community better, living out of your joy, sharing your gifts and talents or putting your desires on hold for the sake of your family and/or your team at work. The key is to find your purpose and help others while pursuing it.


We are constantly reminded in all the major religious traditions that our life is a journey from something….to something.  In the Catholic Christian tradition, life is always a journey from individuality to community, from isolation to reconciliation, from sickness to healing. This journey from something….to something is a journey that causes us to look deeper at ourselves and at the community we live, work and have our being within. It is good now and then to take the time to look back at how you have contributed  to making a life to those around you.  When I think about the faith that I hand on, it is one of constant love and service to those around me–here it moves me from making a living to a much more profound place of making a life.


–We all make our living in one way or another, but do we give back to others while we are doing it?  How does the work that we do move from being a journey from a job to a ministry, in which God is working through you and you move to making a life?


–When we see where we are going can we say that we are making a life? Are we  showing more compassion and helping others along the way?  Do we express our faith today as a means of how are we living the self-emptying gift of Jesus with others?





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