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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: May 21, 2023
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor delivered the following commencement speech during the graduation ceremony at Robinson Auditorium for Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock on Monday, May 22, 2023.
You graduates have a lot of decisions to make and so it is worth reminding you that to get the right answers, you have to ask the right questions. We all want to be happy, so it's natural to begin with the question: "What do I want to do with my life?" because we imagine that happiness comes from doing what we want to do, achieving what we want to achieve and living the kind of life that we would find most pleasurable.
So, we choose a major in college that will lead to a career that we think will make all this possible. It could even be a career that does a lot of good for others, but we choose it because it is what we want to do with our lives.
We started with the wrong question, so we got the wrong answer. Doing what we want is still focused on the self and so does not lead to the kind of happiness that fills the deepest longing of the human heart.
It is through prayer and reflection that, over time, we discover our role in God's plan, so prayer and reflection is the place for you to start. This is the only truly solid foundation for making decisions of this magnitude.
The right question is: "What does God want me to do with my life?" The answer to that question will always involve living for something bigger than ourselves and therefore require personal sacrifice, death to self.
But it will also lead, of necessity, to true happiness because true happiness comes from doing what God wants us to do, which may not be what we (or our parents) had in mind, from achieving what God wants us to achieve and living the kind of life that would be most pleasing to God.
It is through prayer and reflection that — over time — we discover our role in God's plan, so prayer and reflection is the place for you to start. This is the only truly solid foundation for making decisions of this magnitude.
Do you want a happy life? To get the right answers, you have to ask the right questions, and the right question is: "What does God want me to do with my life?"
The answer to that question is the only answer that will fill the deepest longing of your heart.