Back again, I know it’s been a while, but coming off four 30-36 hour work weeks has not exactly given me very much free time, especially with it being the first month of the semester. But those days are over for a while, and I’m finally getting to sit down and write about what has been happening in my life.
Over the summer months it is always the hardest for me to keep up in my faith. Whether it is because I have less of a community, or make up stupid excuses as to why I didn’t go to Mass, the summer months are always harder on me in my spiritual life.
It’s always nice to get back and try to renew my spiritual life, and this year I have multiple outlets for that. I am a part of a small women’s group in my Catholic Community (there are 9 of us and that includes our fearless leader, who I absolutely love), that is helping to point me in the right direction. Or so I thought.
Working for so much for the month of September took me away from the Catholic Student Union quite a bit this month. I would work all day Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday and not have time to finish my homework, causing me to miss Spirit Nights on Wednesday evening. It was truly upsetting. I wanted to be there so bad, but I had to finish my homework, because one of my vocations right now is to be a “prudent student” whether I like that or not.
When I got the chance to sit down with my Spiritual Adviser last week, I was trying to explain to him what I was feeling. I came to him with the conclusion that I don’t feel like I am being stretched and growing in my faith. Not to say that not growing isn’t a bad thing, sometimes we need a breather to sit and behold the Lord for what His is and the awesome things he has done in our lives. The scary part for me, was that I had no idea why I wasn’t growing.
I came to the conclusion that I was stagnant in my spiritual life. Typically people take the idea that if you’re not moving forward in your spiritual life, you’re moving backwards. That our spiritual life is a constant battle and a daily decision. I agree whole-heartedly.
What made me even more afraid, is that because I thought that I was stagnant, I couldn’t see where in my life I was moving backwards. I didn’t recognize a problem that needed fixing, and I couldn’t act on that problem. It’s one thing if you can see a problem and choose to ignore it, but it’s an entirely different thing to not know what the problem is, only that you have one, because we cannot readily identify how to go about fixing it.
My prayer life has never been a good one. As most people can identify with, I’ve had my highs (usually retreat-induced) and my lows (no prayer whatsoever, at all). But it was the advice, really the instruction, of my Spiritual Adviser of a constant prayer. He told me to set an alarm on my phone every 2-3 hours to remind me to pray.
It hasn’t even been a week, but I already see a difference in how I am responding to the Lord’s grace, love, and wisdom in my life.
What has really struck me is that I have been inspired to readily read scripture on my own. I am a part of a weekly bible study, and we are going through the Gospel of John (AMAZING, by the way). I find that I have to read ahead and indulge in this book of the living word of God, not only because I should, but because I want to get to know Christ better. I want to understand more about the person that loves me the most, and the person that I call my true love.
I have very few verses that I keep so close to my heart; Isaiah 43:4, John 10:11, Luke 1:46-47 are a few. But I now have a new one to add to the steadily growing list. In reading ahead, I came across this true verse of awe: “He does not ration the gift of the Spirit.” – John 3:34.
In this ever so little piece of the Lord’s infinite and glorious wisdom, for a moment, I understood.
Christ does not know how to give in proportion. He doesn’t know how to give only a little. That act would contradict who he is and his everlasting love. This verse, for me, put into words what I already knew, but was turned away from.
In my, what seemed to be, stagnancy, I was really turned away from the Lord’s grace and love. Not necessarily due to mortal sin, but due to my sin of complacency and apathy for the Lord and his love. Once I started to make an effort to turn around and at least try to be receptive to Him, is when he opened up so many opportunities for me to know him and receive his love more fully.
Obviously I’m not done. Like I said, it’s been less than a week that this has been revealed to me, even more so, I have my whole life ahead of me to grow in my faith. What I do know, is that if you put forth the honest effort to strive towards the Lord, he will recognize that, and help you along the way to knowing his greatness.
What a great life to have ahead of me; and strive towards the Lord I will.
“There is almost a wastefulness when God made the loaves and fish to feed everyone (it’s also seen at the wedding at Cana). God doesn’t calculate his giving, he can only give all and give it abundantly.”
– Father Chris Winkeljohn
In Christ and Mary,