Tonight, I pray…

Hello again, all! Thursday certainly has treated me much better than Tuesday or Wednesday, but not as well as I hope Friday will! Luckily…that’s tomorrow! Since North Central is on trimesters, we have 10 weeks in a term…and my roommate and I constantly commenting on how fast these weeks go by! It’s hard to believe it will be week 3 in just a few short days. But alas, I’m looking too far ahead for now. As it says in Mattew 6:34, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”

Today’s trouble is enough for today. I think that’s something to reflect upon, especially tonight.

As the more steady readers know, I am currently actively discerning a call to diocesan priesthood, something that has caused a lot of hubub in my life. Most agree and are supportive, some are supportive but don’t really get it, and others openly disagree and give me all of their reasons why it’s a bad idea (ps child abuse jokes are not as funny out loud as they are in your heads….). To be quite honest, though, I’m not sure which of these groups I can learn the most from. It’s nice that people are so supportive, especially since 2010 was the Year for Priests and the Church is in such a dire need. I wish that those who support but do not understand would take the time to ask their questions, rather than straying away from something which has the potential to be quite uplifting. But when it comes to those who openly disagree (for a multitude of reasons), these are the ones I will learn the most from, because these are the one’s for whom I will be praying the hardest tonight and for many days. I pray that God will open my eyes to where they are coming from, and open their eyes to His true glory.

I also pray tonight for the people of my generation. We are a strange generation because we are all so broken, yet all so united. We are so lost, yet we hold the power of the future. It amazes me that so many young Catholics have all but abandoned Jesus for other things in life; other churches, disbelief, and the list goes on. There is a generation missing from the Catholic Church…which will have a devastating impact on the future of that Church in America.

When I ask people my age why they don’t to church, the typical “it’s boring!” is always one of the first responses. It is our job to engage ourselves in Jesus Christ or, rather, it is our job to say YES to He that is constantly calling to us in an effort to engage our hearts in him. Sometimes people chuckle when I tell them that I believe the Holy Spirit is alive in so many people and things…but, folks, it’s true!  It is not bad to feel nervous or scared or unsure or worried or whatever else about becoming an active Catholic again. But is IS bad to allow those feelings to BLOCK your views and thus your action in the church. Jesus wants all of us to come and join him at His table and receive the Blessed Sacrament. Mary wants all of us to come and ask for Her prayers…she WANTS to pray for us. The Saints and Apostles want to do all they can to intercede for us before the Father but, as I have always said, faith is a two way street. You have give a little to get a little. I wish I could just instill in everyone around me the saving and loving power of God. There is nothing else like it so you know when you’re feeling it. Do not let feelings of fear, worry, or sin block you from coming home to church, whatever your religion may be. That is the place where those feelings will truly go away.

I recently met a couple of seminarians from my diocese, the Diocese of Joliet in Illinois. They are such nice people. One of them is my age and, besides being an all around cool guy, has helped me so much over the past couple of weeks with discernment and seminary life, etc. One of the things he taught me was to take a step back whenever I am uncertain or nervous about something, in this case we’ll say someone my age going back to church for the first time in awhile. My friend told me to say these simple words: JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU.

Say those words once, twice, or a million times. As many times as you have to in order to feel the saving grace of Jesus.

 In Matthew, we heard “Today’s trouble is enough for today.” So tonight I pray that I won’t let the worry of the impending doom the next 8 weeks have to bring to me get me down; that my generation will be known for many things, but I hope it does not become, also, the “generation who ran away from God”; and finally that those who are hiding from the church will take that needed step back, say JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU, and come home to God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth.

I’d love to hear what you are praying for this night. Know that whoever you are, where ever you come from, and whatever your walk of life, I pray for you; I hope you will keep me in your thoughts, as well.

In Christ,
Ryan

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