Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Journey, Continued

I remember something that my mom told me- God helps those who help themselves. She meant that we have to put our best effort into accomplishing our goals, and in doing so we would merit the grace we need along the way. On my journey home in the Catholic faith, I have found that the more I try to do God's will, the easier it becomes, and at the same time it requires more effort. One parish I was in had a very holy priest who inspired me with a great love of God, and whose advice and example were uplifting, inspiring, and educational. When he was transferred to another town, I felt that I was suddenly adrift on an ocean of sin (the world) in a rudderless boat. It was 5 years more until I found a priest who I could turn to - and it wasn't my parish priest, it was Fr. Corapi, who I had the good fortune to meet at a retreat in Seattle 3 years ago. (Thanks to my sister for taking me with her!) Through his books, CD's, radio and TV programs, I once again had a sort of spiritual director, albeit not a personal one. Any question I come up with, I can usually find in his material.
What do we do without a spiritual director? Prayer and spiritual reading are the two things that have helped me. The daily rosary, no excuses accepted to avoid it! Morning and evening prayers, said without fail. It took me a few years to establish my prayer habits, but now I look forward to that time spent in devotion.
There are so many books available to us to help our spiritual journey; sometimes it takes a bit to find the right one. I tried to read Shorter Summa, but it was too much for me at my current level. I love to read the lives of saints. My current reading list includes Introduction to the devout life by St. Francis De Sales, and Conversations with Christ by St. Theresa of Avila. And my companion books, The Imitation of Christ, and the Purgatorian Manual which I refer to often.
Getting back to my point about things requiring more effort as you progress, I find that my prayer load has increased as I grow more accustomed to it, I attend more Masses, and spend less time in frivolous activities.
Thank God!

3 comments:

Marilena said...

i find that reading books like Divine Mercy in my soul and the story of a soul as well as other uplifting spiritual books made a huge difference for me in my life. especially when it comes to saint therese. she is a wonderful saint who has made a big impact in my spiritual life. your right, as you progress your prayer load does increase, but the more you pray, the more souls that are helped.

John Michael said...

It took me about nine years before the good Lord finally granted me a Spiritual Director. It was worth the wait.

So for nine years I did exactly like you.

If I needed advice, that wasn't connected to the teachings of the Church, I would ask in the confessional. This worked really well for me.

God bless you,

John

Michael said...

I have gone through the same thing! There have been times where I have had a spiritual director, and others where, in retrospect, I had been lost.

But you are right, once you get some momentum, I think it becomes easier and easier to grow. I found that even the "simple" act of reading the bible regularly changed the way I go through my day. It feels like I see things clearer ... easier if you will.

I pray for you - that your journey continues undeterred!