While being a conversationalist is considered a gift, being a “talker” is not. The latter implies a person of words, yet with little or no subsequent action. In today’s Gospel, we could put the person who utters, “Lord, Lord,” in the “talker” category—a person of words, but little follow-through. This person may listen, but does not act. He/she builds upon sand.

St. Ignatius was resolute and determined to seek God’s way and glory—uttering many words about his holy desires for the Lord, but he also was one who did his best to act upon his desires, whether it was going to the Holy Land on pilgrimage, pursuing studies at an advanced age, helping souls through giving the Exercises, founding with others the Society of Jesus, discerning the greater apostolic good, offering God his liberty, etc.  He built upon rock.

What’s one holy desire we can follow through on in Advent? May we act on it, and thus do our best to be more than a mere “talker.”

—Richard Baumann, S.J. lives and works in Nairobi, Kenya as co-director of the African Tertianship program–a six-month spiritual renewal program for Jesuits prior to their pronouncing final vows.