I felt a sense of colossal relief after my doctoral defense, noting that I would never have to take a test again. But of course, bigger tests awaited.
Christ was frequently tested: In the desert by the devil, by the Pharisees who were threatened and envious, by the apostles who resisted a way without worldly glory and by His own doubts before the crucifixion when Jesus wondered whether His Father had abandoned Him.
Our culture places a high value on people's expertise and abilities. We treasure having the right person with the right skill set and personality for a given responsibility. In fact, a whole industry is devoted to researching and finding the perfect candidate for a job. High-performance companies and institutions typically hire trusted firms to run job searches.
The best Lent of my life involved getting up every day at 5:30 a.m., hiking for miles through ankle-twisting, cobblestoned city streets, dodging drivers for whom traffic laws were traffic suggestions, avoiding the chaos of transit strikes and other civic disturbances and battling bureaucracies civil and ecclesiastical — all while 3,500 miles from home sweet home.
Catholic school students in the Archdiocese of St. Louis are blessed to be supported by parents, parishioners and benefactors. These individuals support our schools not only because they recognize the individual benefit each student receives, but they recognize that Catholic schools benefit our entire community.
I like to accept compliments, to receive congratulations. I like to garner praise.
Who doesn't delight in hearing nice things about himself, right? Who doesn't enjoy having good efforts recognized? Externally, we might react with humility: "Please, anyone could have done that." We might dismiss it: "Come on, it wasn't anything special." We might display embarrassment and simple graciousness: "Thank you for saying that." But inside, it feels really good.