What Do I Want To Become - Every Day?
“It was in Antioch that the disciples were called Christians for the first time” (Act. 11, 26) ...
To be a Christian means to go up to the mountain to which Christ leads us. To enter into the temple of the living God that is formed in us and in our midst by the Holy Spirit. To be Christian means to continue to become Christian, learning from Christ the ways of the Lord so as to be able "to walk in his paths" (cf. Is. 2, 3). To be a Christian means to become one every day, ascending spiritually towards Christ and following him. In fact, as we recall, when Christ first called those who were to become his disciples, he said to them: "Follow me".
I can still hear these words the way Pope John Paul II pronounced them, in his steady and careful way.
The quote is from the address he gave at the Mass at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, September 18, 1987.
This dialectic of being and becoming is central to every aspect of our identity. For example, a license and a ceremony can turn a single man into a husband (in a way), but being a husband requires taking up the task of becoming a husband every day. A biological juxtaposition can turn a childless man into a father (in a way), but to really be a father in a meaningful way, the man must enter into the character of fatherhood, walk the walk of fatherhood, and be a father by becoming a father every day.
Aristotle uses the term "actualization". Potentially being can turn into actually being. How? By doing the impossible: by actually being what you are not. The example I remember is playing a musical instrument. Say someone doesn't know how to play the piano. (Well, how could he play the piano? He doesn't know how!) In order to learn he must practice, which involves -- actually playing the piano. If to play and to not-play were somehow radically exclusive, all learning would be impossible. In the real world, however, people do learn to play the piano. They practice, and little by little they play more and better. Actualization.
"To be a Christian means to become one every day."
To be a ____________ means to become one every day.
What do I want to become?
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