Parable of the Talents. What are yours?

Inspired by today’s Gospel reading and my priest’s homily, I have been thinking about this.

We are called to use our talents and gifts provided by God to grow, serve others, and to please Him.

I have been thinking about what my talents might be, and honestly I can think of none. I am a mother, wife, help others in my job, but I mean, millions of other people in this world can say that. I am nothing special. I have no specific talents or virtues that I feel I use to the best of my ability in order to serve God!
I am a massive introvert, and therefore any possible positive characteristic will never be used for good as I am too shy and nervous to put myself in uncomfortable or new situations.

How do I discover my talents and use them appropriately?

What do you feel are your talents and how do you use them to please the Lord?

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I believe that the “Talents” are our charisms - those gifts of the Holy Spirit given for the building up of the Body of Christ. Each of us possesses at least one talent - a gift freely given and one which has no value unless we put it to use. We so often bury our talents, as we find it embarrassing to proclaim the Gospel. Are we ashamed? Then our Lord will be ashamed of us before the Father.

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I have none whatsoever.

Because of this do you worry that you will be judged as a “wicked and lazy servant” as told in Matthew 25:14?

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@Amac1, thank you for this thread, its a great topic for many .

I don’t have any talents either, until lately I have been called upon to pray for others in our parish and in our world.

So, the ability to focus and to pray for others daily, is this a “talent?”

Or is it a gift of the holy spirit?

Is a talent a gift?

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Rather, you have the ability to open conversation. I see no “none whatsoever” about that. For that matter, I was unaware of my charisms until I intentionally sought out their revelation. Everything changed after that.

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How did you do that? through meditation perhaps?

Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal them. There are several ways in which to do this.

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I have no idea. What is the difference in talents, gifts, charisms, virtues?

Regardless of the differences I still feel I have very few of any of these, and any that I do have can’t be used due to shyness.

For example, I like to think I am empathetic and caring, I always want to help people (in my own head), but I don’t actually do it. Because I can’t and won’t ever be able to put myself out there.

I have no physical ‘talents’ eg not good at sport, music, baking, crafts etc.

My gifts are fairly weak eg poor in wisdom, knowledge etc.

I don’t know how to find my strengths and work on them for God.

Good for you @mary15 for being able to offer up prayers for others. People obviously have seen something in you where they felt they could ask for your prayers. That’s amazing.

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I’m in the same boat as you. I can’t identify any such ‘talents’ but maybe our call is to pray. We don’t have to be ‘special’. We just have to be diligent. God bless.

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“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are,” said Teddy Roosevelt, and if that doesn’t evoke the essence of the Parable of the Talents, I’d like to know what does.

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What if you don’t know what you have?

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I’m sure your husband and kids see you as extra special and irreplaceable. Being a good wife and mom is very special indeed!

Your post reminded me of a book I read as a child called “The Mummy Market”. It was about 3 motherless children who wanted a mom, and somehow they found a market where mums could have a booth and advertise themselves, showing off the special talents they had, like one had a booth showing how she baked wonderful cookies and cakes, and another played lots of sports and games. And there was one mum who just sat in a chair in an empty booth and waved and smiled kindly at children passing by. Kids who visited could choose a mom they thought they might like to have and she would go home with them for a tryout and if it worked out, she would be their permanent mom. If it didn’t work out then she would go back to the Mummy Market and the kids would choose another.

The children chose several different moms to try out, but none of their choices were the right ones. Usually the mom would be so interested in doing whatever her specialty was that she wasn’t interested in what the kids wanted to do, or in having quiet time. The children kept passing over the mom in the empty booth because the others looked more interesting, but because she looked kind they finally talked to her. She explained that the booth was empty because she couldn’t think of any special talent she had to show off, except she just wanted to be a mom. So finally they invited her home and she turned out to be just right and became their permanent mom and they all lived happily ever after.

(PS. I don’t like talking about what talents I think I have. It feels like a competition or showing off. I’m just here to try to use whatever piddly stuff I manage to do in a way that will hopefully please God.)

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My “talents” are in the arena of public performance, so they’re obvious. Most people don’t see past them.

However, I have an infant right now, and I’m at the point where I have to deciding next steps. I don’t have any “talent” as a mother, and if I stay home to educate her, I’ll have to give up the professional end of my musical “talents.” They cost too much - time, energy, headspace - to allow for other pursuits. But giving them up means doing it for good, because by the time she’s out of the house I’ll be too old to go back. At the same time, I’m uneasy about an interpretation of this Gospel that says Jesus would want me to forgo caring for my daughter in favor of my talents. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? The whole thing is very scary.

Our deacon this morning went that route with the homily - talents as special gifts that set you apart - which wasn’t personally helpful. But he also said that “talents” in the ancient world were a unit of monetary weight equivalent to about 75 pounds.

So I started thinking, what if I think of my talents as my burdens, because then that Gospel makes a lot more sense for me right now. How can I bear my burdens so they give increase to the Lord?

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You wait and pray until you know, and work with what you know you have in the meantime. Do the best you can until you know you can do better, then do that.

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@MrsAngelala Thank you, that is a profound way of looking at it.

What would you give as an example?

I would also be tempted to say I have none, but I’ve been told I am an encourager and carry a diplomatic presence. I can see this, as I find it easy to turn the other cheek and to find a grain of goodness in even the most hideous circumstances.

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Yes I also have been wondering that also. If our sufferings or burdens could be used as ‘talents’ in a strange way

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In this parable, “talent” means money. In this sense, talents are our spiritual treasures, given in differing measures. Spiritual treasure shouldn’t be buried. Sharing these treasures builds up the Kingdom of God on earth.

I try to follow the St. Thérèse of Lisieux’s Little Way, as outlined in Story of a Soul:

Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice,
here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing
the smallest right and doing it all for love.

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I had to think about that for a second, and I guess it is pretty strange! We can always unite our burdens and sufferings - from our sins and failings, to a stubbed toe, to a miscarriage - with Jesus’ Passion, or really with any part of his life.

The formula I use for this is, “Jesus, please accept [burden/suffering] as an offering of love to you, join it with your suffering [on the cross/of your scourging/as you walked the Via Dolorosa, etc.] and redeem it for the benefit of [intention].”

I use that formula because it helps me focus, but I think it’s really more of a movement of the heart. In the economy of salvation, God doesn’t waste anything! Even burdens become spiritual treasures.

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