Jan 8, 2023 filed under Faith, Joy.

Dance of woman in red blouse

God has given each of us unique gifts—ways to receive and live out his love that only we can do. A favorite “post from the past” invites us to celebrate the one-of-a-kind genius that is you.

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One of the challenges of the virtuous life is dodging the doubts that creep into our thoughts. A speaker I heard once named some of them: “You’re no good.” “If people really knew the truth about you, they wouldn’t want to be with you.” And the ever-present, “You can’t do that.”

When I was eight, I came to love Beethoven’s sixth symphony, the Pastoral, because it told a story plain as day without paint or words—using only musical instruments. I told my funny grandfather that I wanted to be a composer when I grew up. “Don’t bother,” he said, “all the good songs have already been written.”

Fast forward to now. The doubt that visits me most is, “You’re not as good at this as other people, so why even try.” Writing and guiding people to have a deeper connection with God gives me joy because I get to share the treasures I have found in how the saints pursued the virtuous life. I have found solid ground, clarity, peace, and freedom in learning to think and behave like them—with hope instead of fear and love instead of blame.

But, still, there are tons of people more qualified to communicate that than I.

L’Engle to the rescue
In her book A Circle of Quiet, Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007) tells how her husband, after reading something she wrote, commented: “It’s been said better before.”

Gulp. How to recover from that?!

Her reply to herself (and us) is:
“Of course. It’s all been said better before. The thing is, it has to be said by me….We each have to say it, to say it in our own way.”

These days, in what our dear late Pope Benedict XVI called “the tyranny of relativism,” people talk about my truth and your truth. As if existence had more than one ultimate meaning. There is only one truth, Jesus Christ, whom each of us, created in his image, “tells” in our unique way. This frees us to boldly say and do true things that have been “said better” and “done better” before, with everything we bring to it—and everything we lack. Because it’s God who brings fruit from our efforts.

Your dance
The choreographer Martha Graham (1894-1991) wrote, “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it.

“It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly…. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. [There is] no satisfaction whatever at any time. There is only a queer divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive than the others.”

Our dance is to live out what has been said and thought and done before in the way that only we can do—while remembering that it is not our words and actions that are the core of the dance, but rather who we are. “Who we are” is the unique thing that we bring to every situation—and it would be sad to listen to our doubts and fail to nourish that core however we can. How sad it would be to miss out on our own dance!

Even in suffering
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity described how we live out Christ’s sufferings each in a unique way. “It’s so simple,” she wrote. “He is always with us. Be always with him, through all your actions, in your sufferings, when your body is broken, remain under his gaze, see him present, living in your soul.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) exhorted us to “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Nonsense, as in doubts and regrets.

High spirits
The key is in the last line: “with too high a spirit.” The high spirit that overcomes the regrets of yesterday, doubts of today, and fears of tomorrow is the Holy Spirit, co-eternal with the Father and the Son, for whom there is no yesterday or tomorrow, but only the eternal, creative now.

Scroll down and share one way you could dance your dance (despite the doubts)!

Love always,


10 Responses to “Dance Your Dance”

  1. Rose Folsom

    I love how you call your middle-schoolers “disciples.” I imagine that leaves them with the expectation that they have something glorious and “grown up” to live up to. God bless you.

  2. Rose Folsom

    What a beautiful way to get used to looking past people’s weaknesses to focus on their strengths! We can apply this to ourselves as well :)

  3. Marion K Arens

    Rose this is a miracle. I will make it as short as possible. I usually read you on my phone. One morning in Dec. I woke up to find my phone locked
    Not by me or anyone else I went everywhere. No one could help me. In on place they said this has been happening alot, After 2 weeks I had to give in. and but a new phone.
    Trying. to recover what I remembered.. Not much my brain has been attacked due to MS. I found my Tablet charged it aand one of my favorite persons was there..YOU. itriedmy new phone with no luck. God Bless You.

  4. Mary E Stroud

    Thank you Rose for sharing these meditations. They are helping me understand a lot about myself.

  5. Kathryn Larsen-Elsayed

    I love this article. It was sent by God through you! I’ve been working on a project to brings Jesus to everyday people in my own way. Of course the doubts are creeping in. This article and your well written words felt like God telling me to keep going no matter what I think. Thank you for writing this. I’m going to keep this to read again and again as long as I need to so I can keep going. Bless you 🤗🙏

  6. Tom Roberts

    I spent my life in science research, really as an artisan with a reputation for inexpensive solutions to expensive problems. As in dance I choreographed my work; every step clearly in mind and every tool in place; able to turn out a new instrument with great speed. A major key was getting my mental house in order by arriving half an hour before daily mass and working through my spiritual “preflight cockpit checklist” to settle what God had picked for me as Job #1.

  7. Sheila

    Food for thought and action, thank you Rose. Our uniqueness and God’s love for us – to really let it all sink in seems like it takes a life time. This year my intent is to really be aware of the Holy Spirit in everything I do – to realize the freedom that that brings – to joyfully accept the moment and forget about yesterday. Thank you.

  8. Joyce Miles

    Happy New Year!
    Dancing is good for you nothing like movement and Rhythm to all sorts of music.Praise and worship is the best and its not hard.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Bless Week Rose.

  9. Lourdes Soto

    Happy new year 🎆
    I have love dancing since I was a child. It’s my favorite thing to do because when I dance I feel happy and free. I feel like myself.
    I’ve always been critical with my self and others. I’m learning to accept that I can’t expect others to do things my way. I’m learning to let go of things I can’t control and live one day at a time. I’m trying to live life just like when I dance, feeling free and joyful. Always feeling thankful.