Going from good to great sounds daunting, doesn’t it? It need not be so. To be magnanimous or noble-minded, to be great, simply means that we need to recognize the talents that God has given us and use them to the best of our abilities for the benefit of others. That added extra phrase, ‘for the benefit of others,’ marks the clear distinction of intention between self-sacrificing love for one’s neighbor and self-serving love.
Take an honest assessment of your talents. Perhaps you are a good listener. If so, be magnanimous with your time and give a listening ear to those in need. Perhaps you are a good communicator/teacher. If so, share your knowledge with others. God gave each of us talents, differing talents, which is a good thing. Imagine if we all knew how to unclog a sink, but none of us knew how to cook? After you have identified your talents, associate ways in which you can put those talents to good use; again, “for the benefit of others.” Step outside of your comfort zone, with faith and confidence in God, to take what you are good at and become great at it, through the practice of virtuous acts.
I’ve decided to take my own advice and apply it to myself. I have been told by several people that I have a flair for public speaking. I also love to teach. I get a kick out of people, when I see the light bulb go on in their heads. When they get the message, their faces light up. That gives me the greatest thrill. I also have a passion for my faith, along with a Masters in Pastoral Theology. Therefore, if I add up all of my God given talents and put them to use for the benefit of others, I will be embracing the virtue of magnanimity and putting it into practice. So, I now teach at St. Joseph’s College of Maine as an adjunct professor of Theology. I conduct public speaking engagements for adults evangelizing on the Catholic faith, and I am a budding author of my first children’s book aimed at teaching children the virtues. With God’s help, I plan on going from good to great; for when I use my talents for the benefit of others, my actions will give praise to God.
What talents do you have, that need a little exercise, a little dusting off, and put into service for the benefit of others? Do your own assessment, then step out in faith and join me on the journey! Move from good to great! Become magnanimous!
In our next reflection, we’ll address the virtue of munificence, another virtually unknown virtue! What is munificence? It’s a lot more than just a funny word to say. Don’t miss it!