Monday, March 3, 2014

A Life Worth Living

Well, I didn't come up with a blog post yesterday so I guess I wasn't faithful to my 7 in 7 challenge. Again, soon after the kids got to bed, I spent some time in prayer and was going to blog but couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. The gospel reading yesterday was from Matthew 6:24-34 where Jesus tells his disciples not to worry. So, I am not going to worry about it. Today is a new day. How often though can we get perfectionistic in our prayer life and our relationship with the Lord. I used to be very much that way. I felt it needed to be all or nothing. If I couldn't pray "perfectly" (whatever that would look like) I wouldn't pray.

Lent is starting this week. Many of us will try to make commitments and give up things in order to better our spiritual lives and hopefully grow closer to Jesus. The Lord is delighted by this desire. There is a good chance however that many of us will at some point fail in our commitments we made. At some point we may give into the temptation to eat a brownie even though we gave up sweets. This may cause us to get discouraged and down on ourselves but the important thing is we get back up. The Lord is so kind and merciful, and it pleases him to see his children making any kind of effort to draw close to him. We need to keep in mind that that is the reason we are doing these sacrifices in the first place, is to draw closer to him.

Yesterday we celebrated my youngest daughter's 4th birthday. With each of my kids, the Lord has taught me some valuable lessons. Through Sarah, I have learned more about his unconditional love for us. I have also had to grow in patience and I have received a deeper understanding of interior freedom. These are just to name a few of the things I have learned by being her mother. When she was a baby, it seemed all she did was cry. She was miserable from day one and there was nothing I could do to console her. She wanted to be held and nursed almost constantly but even those things did not make her happy. She was still miserable. There were whole days where all I did was sit in a rocking chair and nurse her. During that time a friend of mine lent me a book called, "Interior Freedom" by Jacques Philippe. This book was invaluable. I sobbed the whole time I read it. It had true stories of people even in concentration camps that discovered an interior freedom and joy in Christ even though physically they were not free.

One day I was praying about why she was so miserable all the time. I heard in my heart, "It's because she was made for heaven." That kind of freaked me out at first as I was thinking the worst. The truth however is that we are all ultimately made for heaven. None of us are ever going to be fully satisfied with life here on earth. Like St. Augustine said, "Our hearts are restless until it rests in you". Only God can truly satisfy the longings in our hearts. We were made for him. Our lives are supposed to reflect and glorify him. When we fail to do that and when we fall short, we feel the aching in our hearts.The good news is that because of Jesus' death and resurrection, the breach in our relationship to God has been repaired and the Holy Spirit is now made available to all of us. We now have the potential to get as close to the Lord as we want. He is also preparing a place for us in heaven which will be beyond our wildest imaginations! Heaven is our true home and our final destination. Realizing that truth, let us take advantage of all the opportunities here on earth to grow closer to him.

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