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‘You Were Not Made for Comfort’: New Doctor Calls Graduates to Greatness

Gabriel LeBeau, from the Class of 2020, is the Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient for 2024. He graduated from the University of Kansas School of Medicine with his medical degree the day after his May 10 presentation. His medical school journey culminated with securing his top-choice residency position at the University of Kansas Medical Center, specializing in neurological surgery. LeBeau is from Tempe, Arizona, and graduated from Benedictine College in 2020 with a double major in Philosophy and Biology. He was active on campus as a Gregorian Fellow and spoke at the Scholarship Ball.
His remarks to the class of 2024 follow.

Thanks to all my friends, many of whom have also been touched by the transformative mission of Benedictine College. Some of you are here today, and your presence is a testament to your support over the years. And to Benedictine College, I’m deeply grateful for the invaluable formation, values, and opportunities that have shaped me into the person I am today. Your commitment to nurturing young minds for lives of significance and purpose is truly commendable.

Now, I’d like to explore the concept of “greatness” with you all. In a quote all too familiar to the Benedictine College community, Pope Benedict XI once said, “The world offers you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness!” If you haven’t heard this quote, I question if you went to Benedictine College! And although we have heard this quote many times, it never fails to resonate deeply within us. It ignites a fire within our souls, reminding us that we are destined for greatness, not mediocrity.

But what does greatness entail? What are the “great things” we’re called to pursue? These questions pose a challenge, yet at their core lies a profound truth: the greatness we seek is found in God himself.

Behind every ambition, every longing, every love, is a deeper desire for the divine. We were created to be filled by God, yet our hearts often fall short of embracing the magnitude of His greatness. The rest of Benedict XI’s quote, a part of the quote we rarely hear, states “Man was created for greatness — namely, for God himself; he was created to be filled by God. But man’s heart is too small for the greatness to which it is destined. It must be stretched.”

Our calling to greatness, therefore, becomes a paradox — we are called to strive for the divine, yet without the divine our hearts are not able to attain what it so longingly seeks. I would like to propose that in order to pursue greatness well, we must continually allow our hearts to be stretched, transformed, and converted, at every stage of our lives. Only then can they can begin to be fulfilled.

A key to greatness, to stretching our hearts, is the virtue of magnanimity. Magnanimity allows one to embrace their God-given gifts and talents as just that, gifts from God meant to be used at the service of others. Magnanimity allows us to have our hearts fixed on the great, the divine. Magnanimity transforms narcissistic ambition, to heartfelt, heart-stretching, service. In dreaming big with a spirit of true magnanimity, with our eyes fixed on the heights, our minds and hearts can be stretched to do great things in and for God, ultimately searching for Him therein. With humility, we ought to dream big!

So class of 2024, as you embark on your journey, remember this: greatness and dreaming big are not about a specific career, a specific relationship, or any specific pursuit of what the world would call success. True greatness lies in embracing your gifts, your faith, and your talents unapologetically, and using them to truly serve others for the glory of God, not the glory of ourselves.

Be magnanimous. In the mundane, and in the extraordinary, be magnanimous. God is ever-present, infusing every moment with deep purpose and meaning. Seek Him in these moments, and if you live like this, I promise you, you will stand out.

Whatever you decide to do, Benedictine College has empowered you with the tools and values to make true change. Go do great things, not only for God, but to find God. Allow your heart to be stretched through practicing magnanimity. Be leaders in your communities, beacons of light in a world yearning for greatness, a world yearning for God. And as you pursue your hopes and dreams, remember that true fulfillment is found in knowing and serving the Lord in all that you do.

Thank you, again, for this incredible honor and for the opportunity to speak. And congratulations Class of 2024.


Editorial Staff

Benedictine College’s mission can Transform Culture in America by modeling community in an age of incivility, spreading faith in an age of hopelessness, and committing to scholarship in a “post-truth” era. We create video and other media content to promote positive messages of faith, hope, and love while Ex Corde Media Fellows program provides students with the tools, experiences, and contacts they need to enter the 21st century media world as effective communicators. Learn about the Ex Corde Media Fellows program.