St Eusebius of Rome

(entered heaven some time in the fourth century)

Dear Beasley,

I hope you’re ready for your senior year; it’s bound to be a roller coaster ride.  Would you mind if I gave you a bit of avuncular advice? Learn to be invisible. Seriously.  Invisibility will be your best ally this year. You have a bunch of high profile leadership positions, and your constant temptation will be to draw attention to yourself and feed your ego.  That’s what we call spiritual suicide. The alternative? Be like Christ – a leader who leads by serving. Stay focused on concrete objectives that you want each of those organizations to achieve, and decide right now that it doesn’t matter who gets the credit for them.  If you can do that this year, successfully maneuvering through that minefield of potential megalomania, you will have set yourself a steady course for a bright, fruitful, and holy future. You don’t have to be prominent and celebrated to be a saint; you just have to be a saint, to be a saint.

Take today’s saint, for instance.  We know basically nothing about him.  Supposedly he was a priest who resisted the Arians (remember them? Heretics who denied Christ’s divinity, among other things), celebrated Mass in secret, and died in prison for his faith.  But most of that is highly doubtful. What we do know for sure is that he founded one of the early Roman parish churches, which everyone subsequently called by his name. Soon after his death, a devotion to him sprang up, and he was annually commemorated in the church he had built, and… well, that’s about it.  When we get to heaven, he may have one of the biggest mansions in town, and yet here on earth he was barely a blip on the historical radar screen.

So, my talented and privileged nephew, bury your many gifts and opportunities in the fertile soil of humility and hard work, and don’t expose them to the scorching rays of vanity and self-importance.  You will do more for the Kingdom if you keep the Kingdom first.

Respectfully your Uncle, Eddy

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