Greatness has nothing to do with who you are or what you have done or where you have been, in worldly terms. True greatness is in who you really are. There is greatness at all levels and stations of life.
Usually, the simple, lowly, and humble -- humble, at whatever level they may be, in whatever role they are called to play -- are the "greatest" in Heaven's eyes, not those who deem themselves great. Be great in the Eyes of God, not the world, and your life has been a smashing success. Be great only in worldly terms and the destination is purgatory (unless there has been an equal measure of spiritual achievement).
To be great in God's Eyes it is necessary to do His Will, at every opportunity, every waking moment; to dedicate ourselves to that. Period. Always remember: the janitor, the motel cleaning woman, a store manager, the mogul (a wealthy man can be humble), a world leader, may have the same level of greatness.
We can't tell from the outside. We can't judge from the exterior, the facade. It's like passing a house: there is no telling, from its immediate appearance, what is transpiring inside.
A pure soul is independent of that. We are called to live this life transparently -- in such a way that there is nothing to hide, and with a self-knowing that knows no embarrassment when we are right with Him.
Simplicity is a key. What's on the surface, as we all know, is not always the true value. In fact, complex ornamentation should be a warning sign.
Look at Jesus: on the Cross. He wore virtually nothing. He had nothing to hide.
It's how we come into this life; it's how we will leave. Spiritually, it is how we should live our lives: no facade.
The Blessed Mother comes with the transparency of crystal that completely blinds with its light.
Our society is now built on having a facade. We have gone to the extreme of cosmetic surgery, tattoos, and even altering the physique that God made. Yet we can't hide our true selves to God, no matter how we distort ourselves nor what we adorn ourselves with.
This also redounds to purity: a pure soul has nothing to alter, nothing to hide. This comes through examination of conscience, something that should not be done only during Lent, or on other special occasions -- periodically. It's to be done each night. Every evening, in prayer, or after reading Scripture, we should ask ourselves: what have I enjoyed this day that came from sin (imperfection) and what have I enjoyed that came from a focus on God?
As a priest was noting the other day, once upon a time a woman set out to buy a silver soup ladle. The salesman at the silversmith's was more than obliging, showing her many ladles. Most were very fancy, gilded pieces with embossed handles and arabesques. She just couldn't decide. Finally the salesman brought out one that was plain and unadorned. But the price!
It was nearly double the rest.
When she asked why, the salesman explained, "You see, on ornamental ware, the flaws of the material don't show. The defects are covered up by ornamentation. As you can see, the plain ladle is free of defects. If there were any, you would easily notice them."
It was that simple.
Are we? Are we that simple?
Strip away make-up, strip away the fancy car, strip away the fancy words about what it means to be a genuine disciple of Jesus, and it all comes down to whether or not we are loving, caring, and forgiving.
No amount of ornamentation nor fancy words nor extravagant devotion can cover that up.