Joseph Epstein in his collection of shorter essays called, “Wind Sprints,” comments on the “ought- to – be endangered phrase,” “Reinventing oneself.” He writes, “People seem to be reinventing themselves everywhere one looks these days. Movie stars, athletes, politicians – everybody’s doing it. A personal reinvention is, I gather, something akin to a makeover of the soul, usually implying a return in a new guise, always of course in improved form. Good luck.”
Epstein is onto something, “Good Luck” with a do-it- yourself (or even with help) soul makeover. When I was in my late thirties our family doctor said that if I wanted to see my grandchildren I had better engage in some behavior modification in regard to my eating. Well, no matter how I tried it didn’t happen until I got diabetes in my early forties. Even that was not a soul makeover, a reinventing who I was. I simply took my concentration on food in a new direction.
Only God is able to do a real soul makeover. Anything less is a pretense on our part; a self- delusion. St. Paul writes of being a new person when we put on Christ. We are new creations. And in the resurrection we will receive new bodies, not a makeover of the old one, but new bodies which will be able to live in the new heavens and new earth. Until then, we look to our baptism and its application to our daily life in which God buries our old self and raises a new person on a daily basis.
For that real makeover we are able to say with the psalmist, “Praise the Lord O My soul and all that is within me bless His Holy Name.”