Each life has its own calling. It has its own code and its own path. None is just an imitation, stamped-out along with a mass of other identical ones. And each one requires the creative courage to live one's own life, and not just to turn oneself into a copy of someone else.
If you look at the parable of the lazy servant, who buried his talent so that nothing could happen to it, that expresses what I am trying to say. Here is someone who will not take the risk of living his life in its proper originality and letting it develop; or of exposing it to the dangers that necessarily arise with that.
In this sense there are a multitude of callings. I said in our book The Salt of the Earth that there are just as many ways to God as there are people. In this case we would have to add: There are just as many ways of living a successful life as there are people.
-------God and the World by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
I like this idea very much, though it also frightens me somewhat. It means that there is a plan for ME in the mind of God. Me in my own littleness and nothingness. That in the midst of a multitude of people there is something that I am supposed to be doing. Whether big or small, a job just for me. And then the question is, am I brave enough to take hold of it and do it. Or will I remain stuck in the "what every one else thinks is important" framework.
That's what the saints did. They embraced their paths, regardless of what the world thought. I wish that I could care less about what the world thinks and more about what Jesus thinks of me.