As unique as a snowflake

Within the soul of every life beats the desire to obtain some measure of immortality, a yearning to be long-remembered, to leave a legacy that bespeaks of purpose and achievement.  This longing for a place above the common fray resides by nature within every human heart, extending far beyond the Warholian aesthetic that prescribes to everyone their “fifteen minutes of fame”.

We are unique

We are unique

It matters little the sum of one’s achievements or the stature one may ultimately attain, for what leaves lasting note upon the fleeting pages of a life are but insubstantial threads that build upon the ever-changing tapestry of man. Neither the size of one’s monument nor the words inscribed upon it will prove the sum or substance of a life. It is the living of it that produces value and the degree to which it influences lives confluent to its own that indelibly create the lasting legend so ardently desired.

As members of the human race each of us shares a genetic heritage and a common genesis as descendants of Adam, formed by the hand of God from common clay and created in his image and likeness. We are all one in our humanity but we are each a marvelously unique creation, as different as snowflakes are to one another. As every snowflake is unique in its geometric shape while having all the properties that define all snowflakes, so too is every human being unique while having all the properties that are innate to all humanity.

Saint Paul utilized a near perfect analogue in explaining this dichotomy when he wrote to the Corinthians, “As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,’ it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,’ it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended.”[1]

It is our unique qualities that best define the purpose that God has set before each of us. No others have been given identical gifts; no one has been tasked for the same purpose. Again, Saint Paul writes, “To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit. To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom; to another the expression of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit; to another mighty deeds; to another prophecy; to another discernment of spirits; to another varieties of tongues; to another interpretation of tongues.”[2]

You will not be measured by how high you climb, but how many reached the stars because of you. Use your gifts, no matter what they may be, as God intended, and you will be a lasting memory to those you helped along the way.


[1] 1 Cor 12:12, 14-18.

[2] 1 Cor 12:7-10.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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