Never change

Once in awhile, a small comment I receive keeps my thoughts occupied for a long time. I received one such comment today. Someone at work told me “you always look so elegant…don’t change. Some homeschoolers, after they graduate, think that they have to change and ‘get with the times’. Never change.” Although I may not always wear the same clothes, do my hair the same way, have the youthful appearance that I have now, I think there is a deeper point.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen said that (paraphrasing) “when you meet someone after many years and they say, ‘my, how you have changed!’ – there is something that remains the same. If there was not, they would not recognize you at all.” That something that remains the same, is the core of the personality that God has given each of us as humans. Father Kentenich often admonished us to “remain genuine”.

This is not to say that we can not grow and mature. We just have the task to always remain genuine to the person that God created us to be! It is so easy to get caught up in following the crowd…and then we lose God – and in losing God, we lose ourselves. The best way to find ourselves is to find God. If we ask and listen, He will show us the proper expression of our personality. Although it may not always be pleasant, we will have the “pendulum security” (another expression of Fr. Kentenich) of being held firm even as life swings us from one extreme to the other.

Lately I have often been wondering how the impressions of California will affect me. I am trying to not only prepare physically for leaving, but also prepare spiritually. I believe that I have a strong personality, and God has blessed me with many graces…but how do I prepare for the unknown, prepare for the temptations, sorrow, sacrifices and dicipline that will be necessary? I have only lived with my family, and for as long as I remember, I have lived in semi-rural areas. I have only had to live with other people for limited amounts of time (retreats, camps, pilgrimage, etc.).  If I don’t want to encounter certain people and/or situations, it is simple – I minimize my contact with them! Although I see them sometimes, there is always plenty to do at home and with family. I have been blessed with the opportunity to avoid much of the “junk” that assails the average person.

Although I generally do not have to deal with popular culture on a daily basis, I often feel the many effects of societies sinful undercurrent. My family is not perfect by any account, and is not untouched by worldly ideas. My circumstances are not picture perfect, the people I associate with are not all saints. Very few people I know share my ideals; some ignore them, some scoff at them, some are indifferent. But somehow our Blessed Mother has chosen me for herself, has protected me, and has formed me past anything I can take credit for. In this I find confidence that everything will turn out fine…I will never change…I will remain genuine.

3 thoughts on “Never change

  1. excessivelydiverting says:

    I liked your post. I absolutely agree — be genuine. I mean, we all go through change, and I’m sure this new experience will change you — but in a positive way. I am thinking the same thing for myself as I move away for the first time. I hope to grow, personally and spiritually, but I want to remain myself: my genuine self. And any change that happens will just be me becoming more genuine. Does that make sense? Anyway, I enjoyed reading this. I hope you have a wonderful time at school. 🙂

  2. Miguel says:

    Hi there!
    I absolutely agree too… great post Lisa. you made it!!
    I’m sure that someday you will write a book.. and I will buy it

    PD: Cuando veo fotos antiguas recuerdo como yo era antes, y siempre llego a la conclusión que soy el mismo de siempre 😀 eso es bueno

  3. Cyndi Baker says:

    Dear Lisa,

    I’m from San Diego, 😦 and sorely miss it.
    **Go Chargers!!!**

    The people in San Diego are __?__ whatever you want to magnify about their character.

    All people are created in God’s image, and are extremely valuable in God’s eyes. Why can’t we paradigm shift our perspective of people and value them the same way?? Are we not asked by Jesus to “have the mind of Christ??”

    I always wondered how Jesus could *willingly choose to die* for us, knowing that our sins were going to crucify Him to the Cross? What made Him so different, so gentle, so kind, so loving, so determined to love us? He is the Son of God, Son of man. He chose not to sin. How could He endure such intense suffering for all of mankind? Love, certainly. But there must’ve been something much, much deeper about His holiness that I was sorely missing in my life. Like you, I longed to seek His holiness and be Christ-like.

    You may not be able to identify with my previous attitude. But I’m willing to be transparent and share my struggles, and beautiful observations of Christ-like behavior in holy priests.

    🙂 Priests are very very special.

    When I reverted to the Church, I noticed that priests had a very different attitude than what I had towards people that held different standards than me!! If people cursed, I would easily be offended and show it. I’d correct them or remove myself from their presence or shun them. (What did they remember about Cyndi? Haughty, self righteous woman!) How sad! Most priests won’t do that — unless it’s a near occasion of sin for themselves — they quickly remove themselves from people’s presence and encourage Catholics to do the same.

    I also noted that priests practiced the pure holy 3rd degree of humility, and became sacrifice for the conversion of souls. How lovely! This took keen observation and enlightenment by the Holy Spirit. How gentle & kind. How magnificently beautiful!

    Some Priests simply *accept* people where they are and their level of faith in God, encourage them with hope or faith or love, and point people to Christ when people came to them for advice.

    Some priests demonstrate courage, strength, perseverance in prayer, faith & trust in Christ by their quiet actions when around those who are straying from holiness, only using words to preach Christ if necessary. They magnified beautiful holy Christ-like actions, so lovingly, so gently..almost like a whisper.. that *I wanted to* become die to self and become one with them, one w/ the Son & the Father, so Christ can be glorified and magnified…

    I think you are lovely. If you *want to* dye your hair, you can still do this and keep the beautiful quiet trusting spirit in God that is so precious in His sight. 🙂 I hope you become a Charger fan, enjoy the cool sunny San Diego weather, deeply breathe in the ocean air and live…enjoy this gift of life!

    Californians will welcome you with open arms!

    Pray for me and I will pray for you. Please keep posting!

    May God bless you with joy and happiness!

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