In the book of Ecclesiastes, the Preacher (Qohelet) talked about how he indulged himself in worldly pleasures including the accumulation of wealth and wisdom. However, he found all these as “meaningless”. So he gave a simple advice to us his readers – to fear (or revere) God and keep his commandments in every single thing we do.
Vanitas vanitatum, et omnia vanitas.
Vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun? Fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. The dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing whether good or evil.— Ecclesiastes 1:2-3; 12:7,13-14
I derived my practical outlook on life from these beautiful lines of my favorite book in the Sacred Scriptures and two other sources. I wanted to develop a motto of my own to remind myself of this duty as a person who believes in God. A motto that would remind me of Christ in every single thing I do to avoid any occasion of sin. A motto that would remind me to always try to find time and ways to worship him and serve him. But how to serve Christ and how do we recognize him in our world today?
Venerable Aloysius Schwartz, a founder of a school I attended, has helped me understand this part after reading his book The Starved and the Silent. He wrote, “CHRIST LIVES ON in the world today and exerts his influence upon it in three ways: 1) the Eucharist, 2) the inspired word of Scripture, and 3) the person of the poor.” This was my second source.
The third and the last source is a line from one of the Vatican II documents Apostolicam Actuositatem. This decree by Pope Paul VI encourages the laity to “ad servitium Christi et Ecclesiae ubique incitantis” or to serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances. This is where I grabbed the wordings of my motto Christi ubique incitantis or Christ in all circumstances.
While it is true that it is difficult to involve God in everything we do in life, especially with what the world can offer, it is not impossible. As a proof, numerous holy people from different parts of the world, living and dead, have overcome the world and lifted their eyes to heaven. For example this man who stayed in a desert pillar for 37 years. He is not even a priest or a religious. He is a layperson. So, it is difficult but not impossible.
Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!