Make no little plans

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PREEMINENT 20th-century architect Daniel Burnham advised his associates: “Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably will not themselves be realized.” His words inspired enormous risk-taking and talent-stretching from subsequent generations of city planners, architects, and artists, including Anish Kapoor, who created his “Cloud Gate” sculpture for Chicago’s 21st-century Millennium Park.

Burnham’s advice extends beyond the artist’s call. All vocations have a public and personal impact. Entering consecrated life is not only a decision between you and God but between you and the community as well. Your calling is a call to service. As such, it is important to draw on the perspective and wisdom of others as you decide your life’s course. Like the panorama of “Cloud Gate,” take in the big picture, look at things from various angles and different points of view. Above all make no little plans. Think of what one man from the dusty town of Nazareth was able to accomplish. Follow him and you will be on the path to greatness, to holiness, to a life not without its slings and arrows but filled with all-encompassing, excessive love and mercy.

Patrice TuohyPatrice J. Tuohy is a co-founder and publisher of TrueQuest Communications, publishers of VISION, and a regular contributor to Take Five for Faith: Daily formation for busy Catholics,, and Prepare The Word: The Complete Preacher’s Toolkit,




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