Excerpt from: The Character of Diaconal Ordination
For such a "simple" station in the Church's hierarchy, the vocation of the deacon is complex. The complexity arises from the net of relationships in which the deacon finds himself upon ordination, a net that is not to be escaped but embraced. Unfortunately, the intricacy of the relationships of the diaconate can tempt a man to despair as he makes efforts to please all of his constituencies: wife, children, bishop, pastor, employer, parishioners, diocesan officials, fellow deacons, and more. Along with these relationships and the various calls they carry, the deacon also feels pressed to "perform" well in his ministries, which can be various and often emotionally consuming; however, looking at the vocation of deacon from the perspective of what Christ is sharing with him, the deacon can receive clarity on a vital truth: it is not the quantity of acts of service that matter to Christ but simply one's fidelity to the character of ordination. Excessive activity and neurotic hand-wringing about whether "I am doing enough to help others" gives birth only to stress, not holiness. Most deacons of the Western world will go to purgatory because they were too busy exerting themselves, not because their ministry was measured. Jesus will meet them at Purgatory's gate with one question: "Why did you try to do so much?"
Deacon James Keating is speaking here primarily to permanent deacons. But I think all of us in lay ministry can get some fruit out of his words.
The rest of Deacon Keating's article is HERE
Our Lady of the Rosary, Pray for us..