Holiness consists simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.
― St. Thérèse de Lisieux
Along the same lines as little Thérèse, a confessor once shared with me at the end of my confession a life-changing idea (paraphrased in my own words):
On the Last Day, God will ask you an important question: “Were you Tom?” In other words, were you the man God created you to be? Did you embrace your personal vocation in all its particularity? It’s that singular concoction of strengths and weaknesses, painted with suffering and joy, all funneled through your own stamp of personality and style that etch an absolutely unique instance of God’s likeness into His creation. Without your life lived well, divine glory is dimmer. Even the sins you confessed today, having been repented of and nailed to the Cross, will now contribute to that lovely, unfolding etching. So today allow God’s merciful and provident love to give you new joy and make you smile. St. Philip Neri would try to get a penitent to laugh at himself in the confessional, especially if he thought too highly of himself, by calling to mind the fact that it is God alone who weaves the good and the bad, the absurdities and the idiocies of one’s life into beautiful work of art, transforming human tragedy into divine comedy. So now, go in peace and make of your life the Tom-God-wills.