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Mission: To Focus

This column picks up on last week's introduction to writing a personal mission statement. The objective is to write a brief set of lifetime goals that can guide daily decision making. The first section attempted to answer the question: "Who are we?" It recommended that our sense of identity should be rooted and grounded in Christ. Benefits include personal dignity, encouragement, meaning in daily life, an inbuilt restraint against evil, a sense of belonging and community, and awareness of a high destiny.

A mission statement should also enable us to set priorities, by stating that which matters above all else. The question is: "What matters to us?" Well, what does matter to you? If all other things were taken away, and only one thing is to remain, what do you want it to be? Can you put it in words?

Saint Therese, the Little Flower, found her answer in First Corinthians, chapter 13. Her mission was "to be love". Her life illustrates three factors about a mission statement. First, one must choose well. To be love is indeed a high (and demanding) choice. Second, one has to focus clearly on the mission, and test and arrange all lesser priorities in the light of that one high priority in the mission statement. Therese clung to her vision of being love. Read her The Story of a Soul. The third requirement is faithfulness in carrying out the mission. The combination of right choice, constant focus, and faithfulness in execution transformed her life, to such an extent that the Little Flower was recently named a doctor of the church.

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