Without ambitious people the world would never get up. They are busybodies who are about early in the morning, hammering, shouting, and rattling the fire-irons, and rendering it generally impossible for the rest of the house to remain in bed.
– Idle Thoughts From an Idle Fellow, Jerome Klapka Jerome
I love this quote because it is really true. Usually I am content simply to admire the ambitious people in my life. But every once in awhile, they go and light a fire under my boiler and compel me to go and do something, that I wouldn’t have been inclined to do otherwise; and generally I am very glad that they did.
One of the saints who seems to me to typify this spirit of ambition is St. Josemaria Escriva. However, sometimes his “Way” seems to be in conflict with the “Little Way” of another saint I admire, St. Therese of Lisieux.
Some time back, after thinking about this for some days, I accosted Michael at his computer.
“Which is it supposed to be, then?” I asked. “Am I supposed to rest like a child in the arms of my loving Father, or am I supposed to soar like an eagle rather than flap like a barnyard fowl?”
“Well,” he said mildly, looking up. “It’s both. You know that.”
Bless them – my husband and the Church, and their hard sayings and paradoxes.
This Lent I plan to read The Way, The Furrow, and The Forge and Story of a Soul back to back, and see if I get any light on the subject.