Have you ever considered having goals for your faith journey?
Doesn’t that sound a bit strange, aren’t goals only meant for life and career?
Let us see how goals can help us in our faith journey, but also how our faith journey can help us orient our life goals better.
What is a Goal?
Put simply, a goal is a clear objective or result that is achieved by a plan of action. But goals are not done in isolation. We don’t just have a goal for the sake of it. They are always tied to a mission or vision as our ultimate aim. If I have a goal to exercise every day, the vision is to be healthy and live a long life for my family. Goals are tangible ways to carry out the vision we have for ourselves.
To put this into a faith perspective, there are numerous concrete goals we can have for ourselves: maybe we want to pray more every night or be more involved in ministry, maybe attend Adoration more.
The issue that could arise with faith goals is the feeling that if we fail to reach a goal, we are not going to be as holy or pleasing to the Lord. This is why it is important to see goals in relation to the mission.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, (no. 850) states,
“The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in the communion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.”
The Church has a mission and we as members of the church are part of that mission. So we do not see faith goals as judged in terms of success, but in moving forward with our mission in life. Goals in faith allow us to be aware of the paths we want to take with the Lord to grow ever closer to Him, and ultimately to be united with Him forever in Heaven.
“Know that you have been created for the glory of God and your own eternal salvation. This is your goal; this is the center of your life; this is the treasure of your heart.” – St. Robert Bellarmine
Our faith plays a role in our life goals as well. When we make a goal for life, for our career, we strive to keep God at the foundation of what we do. That way, we can make sure our goals are oriented correctly. In prayer, we can reflect if our goals are aiming towards our deeper vocations, or if they are possibly tainted with a greater focus on worldly attachments like money or fame. We offer our goals in prayer, for as Lewis Carrol says
“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”
If we know our main purpose in life, and seek goals that help us achieve results in relation to that purpose, then all we have to do after that is do our best, pray, and always trust in the Lord. For even if life gets busy or stressful from goal setting, we remember the calm words of this Sunday’s gospel:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
Happy goal setting!
Daniel Quintero is a newlywed husband, writer, and avid karaoke singer. He currently attends Prince of Peace Catholic Church where he volunteers in the lector ministry and with faith formation. His favorite motto: “Awkwardness does not exist.”