To Shine Like The Stars
As I look back on my life, it seems like it has taken me a long time to realize that all the women in our family are, or have been, teachers, with one of our group being a teacher assistant. This includes our mother. Here was a woman who was fond of quoting Scripture, as well as poetry.
One of her quotes that has stayed with me through the years is a saying from the book of Daniel (Dan 12:3): “Those who lead others on to justice shall shine like the stars for all eternity.” Before I entered Carmel, I sometimes assisted at Mass in a chapel that had a choir loft. With great ease, I was able to study the art work in the ceiling. It was full of stars. In holy distraction, I used to wonder which star was mine. For some reason, I have always felt that the quote referred to those who lead others on to goodness of life. One may ask how a person goes about doing this.
I recall a retreat I made some years ago. While reflecting, I realized that I actually do see the goodness in others, and that this goodness is a source of inspiration. I also realized that, at that time, I was not accustomed to acknowledging this goodness, verbally. I just saw it, recognized it, and went on with the task at hand. Now, however, things have changed. I know that seeing goodness in others enables one to see more goodness. Maybe, as human beings we are created to have this happen.
As I meditate further on this Scripture passage, I am inclined to think of the quote as asking us to lead others to discover their own personal and unique goodness. We all have it. Wouldn't it be wonderful if this approach were to spread all over the world?
In Chicken Soup For the Soul , there is a story about a mother with several children who had come upon hard times. As a result, there was not enough money for Christmas gifts. In place of purchasing gifts, the family agreed to write on little slips of paper what they liked most about each other. When they "unwrapped" their gifts on Christmas morning, the youngest child was heard to say, "Gee, Mom, I didn't know they liked me that much!"
Sister Mary Jo Loebig, O.C.D