The parable of the talents and discontent

These past few weeks I was in a dark place. The more comfort I sought, the more discontent I became. Tonight something occurred to me…what if discontent is my talent and God wants me to use it to grow closer to Him?

All my life I worried about the parable of the talents…I don’t have enough money to make a difference, my job is insignificant, etc. But what if our “talents” are the present moment and what we do with it is how we use the talent?

What if when I hate sweeping floors at work and I can’t fathom how sweeping floors glorifies God I am missing the point? What if it’s not the action itself as much as the discontent I have in doing it anyway that glorifies God?

What do you think a “talent” is? Could our struggles be talents?

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I think that in many cases (not all) our struggles are God testing us - our cross to bear. The 12th chapter of the Book of Tobit, or the entire book of Job reveals this. I consider “Talents” to be the charisms of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 25:14-30. We are given those talents without cost, but - and this is crucial - we are expected to use them for the building up of the Church.

The dryness in prayer, the sensation of being abandoned by God, virtually all of the occurrences which we assign a negative meaning to, can certainly be the Lord testing us.

“He who perseveres to the end will be saved.” That does not necessarily make it easier, but we invariably receive the grace to endure our testing if we but ask for it.

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I think rather than our struggles being our talents, our talent is in how we respond to our struggles.
There may be a talent in being able to offer our struggles and pain up to God. I don’t think it is a talent that many people actually have.

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I think sweeping floors is an opportunity to grow in humility and that would get you closer to God. It is more difficult for a boss who has a group of people under his command to be humble.

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Ver. 15. In the parable of the talents, the master is God, talents, graces, &c. (Witham) — From this, it appears, we can do no good of ourselves, but only by means of God’s grace, though he requires our co-operation; since the servants could only make use of the talents given them to gain others.

The rest of it is here.

If you look at the parable of the talents, it really starts off in Matthew 24. It is Passion week, and looking about them, the disciples marvel at the beautiful buildings on the Temple Mount, and Jesus somewhat alarmingly casually says all that will be torn down. The disciples ask him to explain what will happen during the end times, and Jesus gives them some description of the end times. However, he says in vs. 42-44, don’t be too concerned about this. Be concerned about being faithful in your vocation. In other words (vs. 14) the gospel of the kingdom must be proclaimed to the whole world. That is your vocation as well.

So when you look at the parable of the talents, the point here is that the servants have been given a task. In the parable it is to manage the master’s possessions so that it multiplies. The meaning here though is that they are to be faithful in proclaiming the gospel so that when the Lord returns, you will have been found faithful to the task that Christ has set you to do.

You can do this as well. Maybe your job isn’t sexy. But you can execute it faithfully, and you can do so in a manner that allows you to share the gospel to those around you. You can teach your children about Christ. You can talk to your family and friends about Christ. Whatever situation you find yourself in, just be faithful to the calling you have in Christ to proclaim Christ to those around you.

Yes, our struggles are talents.

Something that goes back many centuries in the Church that relates to what you are talking about is one of the favorite tactics the devil uses when somebody is making spiritual progress. Somebody finds themselves in a situation where they feel insignificant, or more than that, they are disabled or bed-ridden because of sickness or some other condition, and the person becomes flooded with temptations and frustration because of how much good they think they could theoretically be doing but aren’t able to do. The devil exploits this in the hope that the frustration will become unbearable and the person will become bitter or start despairing.

The late Karol Wojtyla reflected on his days laboring in a factory in Poland, suffering from temptations of insignificance and bitterness. God forged great patience and humility within his soul during that time period in this life.

We have to do whatever we can do in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, however unjust they may seemingly appear. Our prayers, in cooperation with God’s grace, can literally move mountains.

Peace.

Related:

Peace.

I feel sometimes my job is insignificant as well and worry about that. Like maybe I was called to go back to school (I was a student in college when I made this account). But at the same time I was blessed with a job that pays me enough to get by and also at just the right time that I needed insurance for my health. So it worked out even if my work feels insignificant. Who knows what the future will bring?

Do you do a morning offering? When you start your day, offer all your joys, sorrows and sufferings, in union with Christ, for the conversion of sinners.

If you think that when you do your duties (try not to grumble and mumble about it) it’s like putting nickels and dimes in a piggy bank. When it’s hard for you, let’s say you have a sore knee or what ever, you are putting quarters and dollars in that bank.

I thank you for this cross Lord.
I accept this cross for love of You.
I offer this cross united with You on the cross for the conversion of sinners and to repair for my own sins.

That’s gold.
God bless and keep you close.

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