No doubt everyone knows about Putin’s dis of Pres. Obama and his subsequent missile attacks on Syria. Also in this morning’s news were articles analyzing how these events’ may affect Obama’s legacy. Presidents are often remembered for their failures rather than successes, the articles stated. Troubling to me however was the comment that the legacy question was a real concern for Obama and his closest aides. What kind of focus is that given the circumstances?
Contrast this with Pope Francis’s answer to the question whether his successful visit to the US made him feel powerful or like a star. Without hesitation he answered, “It [stardom] is something that passes. You have it today, but tomorrow it’s gone.” (Catholic Herald) How true. How true.
Jesus was pretty clear on the subject. When the devil offered Him all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for worship Jesus told him to God alone goes the glory. He later told a young man to leave it all and follow Him. Jesus knew that meant to worldly failure, in a big way.
Motivation is everything and the temptation to take ones public impression into consideration when we do something is great. Such consideration will taint the action itself. Perhaps this is why the pope added that he still needed to progress on the path of service and why St. Therese of Lisieux, from the unseen life of her cloister said, “Let us go forward in peace, our eyes upon heaven, the only one goal of our labors.”