“Our perfection does not consist of doing extraordinary things, but to do the ordinary well.”
— St. Gabriel Possenti
The other day while talking to a friend, she made a comment on how her life is so boring, the same basic routine over and over again. My immediate response was “no, it’s not boring, it’s simple. You choose simplicity and there’s nothing wrong with that.” Although I was quick to change how my friend thought of her boring life, being simple is something I struggle with at times. I love my simple life but I often think how dull and uneventful my life is compared to others. At times, I wonder if I am ignorant by not always questioning everything in life, by choosing to be grateful for every moment even if it isn’t perfect, and trusting that things will work out how they are meant to be. I especially worry about this in regards to my faith, that I’m too simple. Some things are not meant to be fully understood and in my simplicity (or ignorance) I don’t desire to have an answer for every little thing. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I learned at a young age that sometimes all you can do is hope and trust. To be simple and have simple yet bold faith.
While reflecting on this dilemma, a thought came to me about The Stations of the Cross where Veronica wiped Jesus’ face. Such a simple and kind gesture in response to a basic human need of wiping off a face but it showed so much love, compassion, and boldness. Veronica was most likely just a faithful follower of Jesus who happened to be in the right place at the right time. She saw a need and an opportunity to help someone whom she loved and to give all she had, even it was only a cool, damp cloth. She might have even been afraid or discouraged by getting in the way of the Roman centurions or not being able to reach Jesus but instead of listening to her fears, she listened to her heart and acted with bold faith. Veronica did not question or hesitate, she trusted and simply did what she believed was right.
Sometimes I feel as though our society frowns on simplicity. We are told that in order to have an impact on those around us, we have to do a number of extraordinary things. What I love about Veronica is her simple act of charity and faith and yet somehow she got her own station! She is the complete opposite of what society tells us. Veronica is a beautiful model of what many of us are called to be, to do small things with great love whether it is by doing the laundry for your family, helping a struggling neighbor, or saying hi to a random stranger.
It is easy to be discouraged, to feel unworthy, or to think we’re boring. However when that happens, remember the words of Mother Teresa, “there are no great things, only small things with great love”