We Need Great Men

The modern Church is in dire need of greatness.

We don’t just need anyone in the seminary; we don’t just need anyone in the pew.

We need great men.

We need great men who don’t flee from danger or run into trifling dangers unheeded. We need great men who live not for themselves but for another. We need great men who believe in love and love to believe.

We, the Church, need great men.

We don’t need men who are unduly humble, and we certainly don’t need men who are vain.

We need great men.

And each of us—both you and me—have the potential to be great, to be magnanimous.

What, then, constitutes a great man? Magnanimous men seek to do great acts, acts that would otherwise merit honor and esteem from others. Their minds, in a word, have “stretched” to the consideration of great things (ST II-II, q. 129, a. 1). They are marked by greatness of soul and seek excellence in proportion to the gifts that they have received from God. In this way, even those who seem little can be great. 

The nine-to-five businessman can be great.

The oft-forgotten homemaker can be great.

The lonesome college student can be great.

The newly-minted seminarian can be great.

And even the hidden, cloistered life of a religious can be marked by greatness.

Each of us—both you and me—have the potential to be great, to be magnanimous.

You and I are capable of the greatest of things: sanctity. You can be the greatest businessman and the best of fathers; you can be the greatest homemaker and the best of mothers; you can be the greatest college student and the best of friends; you can be the greatest seminarian and the best of men; you can be the greatest religious and the best of women. And to be the greatest and to be the best is to be nothing less than a saint.

The modern Church is in dire need of this greatness.

The modern Church needs magnanimous, saintly men who pursue greatness in the midst of a mediocre world, even when greatness is arduous or unsparing of life. She needs those truly great souls who know that there are certain conditions in which this life is not worth having, and that eternal life is promised to those who persevere to the end. She needs men who desire greatness, not of this world, but of the next.

We don’t just need anyone in the seminary; we don’t just need anyone in the pew.

We, the Church, need men who strive for greatness, who strive to be saints.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared on Dominicana, the online journal of the Province of St. Joseph, and is reprinted here with kind permission.

image: Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

Br. Maximilian Maria Jaskowak, O.P.

By

Br. Maximilian Maria Jaskowak entered the Order of Preachers in 2016. He received an M.A. in Theology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, while working as a teacher and youth minister in the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania.

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