Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

September 17, 2010

Running on Empty

I feel like a failure.

I know I'm not. I know to my students I have it (mostly) together. I know to my colleagues I'm able to balance the courses, unit development, yearbook deadlines, and trip meetings because I'm young and have the energy. But the reality is, I don't. Don't get me wrong. Things are just fine in this new school year. I am fortunate to continue to build relationships with students and build friendships with colleagues. I am fulfilled. I'm just tired. Well, exhausted, really. I haven't had time to return phone calls, emails, or texts. The thought of saying "yes" to making plans with friends has only been stressing me out, as I don't feel I can give anyone my whole attention or heart because I am so mentally and emotionally spent. Talking about God, morality, and girls' very real problems takes it out of you day after day. I feel guilty saying "no" to friends and not being available. But I feel as if I'm treading water, and if I don't give myself a little space for my mind, heart, and even physical distance from people, I'm going to drown.

I take comfort in our beloved Pope, who said this in Glasgow this week.

Saint Ninian, whose feast we celebrate today, was himself unafraid to be a lone voice. In the footsteps of the disciples whom our Lord sent forth before him, Ninian was one of the very first Catholic missionaries to bring his fellow Britons the good news of Jesus Christ. His mission church in Galloway became a centre for the first evangelization of this country. That work was later taken up by Saint Mungo, Glasgow’s own patron, and by other saints, the greatest of whom must include Saint Columba and Saint Margaret. Inspired by them, many men and women have laboured over many centuries to hand down the faith to you. Strive to be worthy of this great tradition! Let the exhortation of Saint Paul in the first reading be your constant inspiration: “Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering and persevere in prayer” (cf. Rom 12:11-12).

If I am tired, I'm tired for Christ. And if I remain in Him, my engine is far from empty.

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