A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Dedication and Overcommitment

Posted on: March 24, 2014

I’m a server by nature.

I’m one of those people who volunteer to chaperone school trips and bake treats for school and church functions. And I also join committees, even though I really don’t like meetings.

Yesterday I offered to help a parish committee because I didn’t want to see its hard work go to waste. But I’m already on two other church committees, and I have other parish and family activities and responsibilities. I think a newspaper article I read the other day got it right: When did “Busy,” become the right answer to the question, “How are you?”

As people of faith, we want to be involved in our parish and wider community and make a difference. But there comes a point where we need to ask ourselves whether we’re doing too much and why.

Are we helping because it’s “the right thing to do,” or do we have talents that would serve a group well? Do we really feel called to work in children’s liturgy, pastoral care or sacramental preparation, for example?

Are we involved because we feel pressured to participate or because the Spirit led us to help?

And are we really taking into consideration everything else in our lives when we agree to help? Do we think about our workload, our activities and those of our children, and our parish or community commitments?

When we consider taking on a new responsibility—a committee role, a volunteer position, or another family activity—we can ask God to guide our decision making through the Holy Spirit.

Section 1303 of the Catechism tells us that Confirmation “increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us,” but we don’t need to be Confirmation candidates to want or need these gifts:

The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. . . . They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations. (s. 1831)

I pray that, before taking on new commitments, we would ask God to increase the gifts of the Spirit in us to guide us in making the right decision.

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2 Responses to "Dedication and Overcommitment"

I found in my “faith walk,” this walk requires “balance” in all things. I have learned when my life gets out of “balance” I am not in the will of God. I also learned to do what I can, and what I cannot do I give to Jesus. He seems to handle all of it. Good post and God Bless, SR

Thanks for your comment! I think we can be quick to give our time to things we think are worth supporting without considering whether it’s what God has in mind for us.

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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