I recently discovered Ignitum Today, a social network of younger Catholic writers. Too bad I’m a little too old to share my writings with them (the age limit for contributors is 39) but I can enjoy what their fine authors have to offer nonetheless.
For example, Mariella Hunt shares this fine blog post below which has given me quite a bit to think about. You’ll find my thoughts at the end. Enjoy…
- Prayer is not a waste of time.
- Others praise for a while and leave you ruined; only God’s love lasts.
- Loving others–true, selfless love–is the greatest achievement of all.
- Why do you need worldly praise to feel like you can do it, anyway? Jesus already died for you! He knows you can!
These are notes from my prayer journal that I wrote on 8/22/12. I was struggling with the feeling that I haven’t achieved enough in life. I think we all go through that phase–it’s an on-and-off thing.
I felt like they needed to be shared.
It isn’t worth losing yourself and wringing out your soul for the sake of worldly praise. Sometimes, though, it’s very tempting to think so. When we’re going those through dry phases that come when it’s least convenient, we want someone to give us a physical pat on the back.
(Stop and consider that sometimes He will pat you on the back through another person.)
Chances are they’ll lose interest, walking away to the next big thing. They’ll leave you with injured pride and an ego too heavy to carry. Worldly things can destroy you, and make it difficult to find your way back to Him–not impossible, but difficult. His love lasts forever and the only approval we ought to look for is His.
You won’t be satisfied with anything else.
If you’ve been craving worldly things lately, or seeking praise for an achievement, stop and remember the source of it all. Every gift you have comes from the Creator, Who crafted you and is always guiding you in every aspect of your life. There’s nothing wrong with feeling proud for having done something, but it’s easy to forget where it came from. When you forget about Jesus, nothing tastes the same–things become dry.
Ask for the virtues of humility and patience. It isn’t easy, but we’ve all got to remember that only His opinion matters. Once we realize that, everything else will fall into place.
He already has a path written out for you, but you won’t be able to find it without Him. Sit and pray about it right now! Remember that if you’ve been failing at these virtues, it’s perfectly normal. We’re going to fail at them much of the time. What counts is that we realize what’s wrong in our actions, and try to change.
Pray Jesus, I trust in You. Tell Him everything that’s bothering you, and ask for the strength to be humble. You might not believe it now, but everything tastes a lot better once you’ve given the reins of your talent to Him.
He will take you to great places!
God has been sending many people my way lately, all with the message of “look within and look to me.” I spent almost 42 years living and dying by the opinions of others. Approval brings euphoria, tempered with attitude. Disapproval brings defense and resentment. The result?
I rarely know if I’ve done well or poorly since I’m waiting for others to tell me. My decisions are dictated by the outside world rather than a strong foundation within. Whatever would I do if I were the only person left alive on earth? Probably sit against a wall, completely paralyzed until I realized nobody’s around to second guess, no one will see any of my mistakes, and there’s no one to influence my decision making one way or the other since IT’S ONLY ME and God.
God sees everything but makes no judgment until the end. God is infinitely patient, with more understanding than we can possibly hope to comprehend. God nudges us in the right direction but sometimes we’re too busy listening to everyone else but Him.
Best of all, God forgives us for our mistakes when we come forward, confess them to a priest and make a heartfelt and sincere Act of Contrition. Whatever mistakes we make, we don’t have to hold onto them very long. The wonderful sacrament of Reconciliation allows us to wipe the slate clean and start anew.
I always know the right path because it’s within me, at my very center. When Jesus ransomed my heart with his own life, he gave me every bit of character I would ever need. The path to unlocking that character is a long one, full of wrong turns, treacherous terrain and surprises around every bend. The destination has no value without the suffering that comes from the journey. My journey continues and it’s time for me to embrace the suffering that must come to produce growth.