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A Great Loss Indeed

October 6, 2011

By Sister Michelle S.

I’ve been an Apple user and fan since I went to graduate school in 1986. I now know that that was two years after Steve Jobs was ousted from his own company. Wow did the products get great when he returned in 1997. Now he’s passed and I realize that we are exactly the same age. What he accomplished in his few years!

There will be no lack of people singing his praises as leader of a great company that made great and life altering products. There will be others who will point out his personal flaws and failings.

Great Persons lives have always fascinated me. I’ve learned how extremely impressive accomplishments are often accompanied by serious failings in personal life or morality. I think this helps me to resist my tendency to think that I, or any specific person is “good” or “bad” or “a good mother” or “a failure” or any label of any kind. Human beings are potentially anything; we have much weakness to overcome and much beautiful potential to strive for. We are always a ‘mixed bag’.

Great accomplishment comes from an intense love or passion about something, incredible amounts of intentional practice, plus the right opportunity or luck. Character failings can come from the same kinds of things and/or from very mundane sources! Reading lives and writings of Great Persons of the Saint variety, like Francis DeSales and Catherine McAuley, makes me realize that when the focus of love and passion and determination is on the development of LOVE itself- then character flaws and sinfulness are often largely overcome while great deeds are still frequently accomplished!

Let’s be grateful for the Mercy that fills our universe and allows us to live lives that matter and to accomplish much good despite our weaknesses as persons and as a society. Let us learn from Great Persons how to keep our focus on developing what matters most.

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