Good morning, friends!
These days, it’s easy to be tempted toward discouragement. There’s so much darkness in the world – even in our own backyards – yet at each turn I’m reminded that, in and of myself, I am powerless to fix any of it. Still, we are reminded by St. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians in today’s First Reading that we can truly live if we “stand firm in the Lord.” Stand firm … what does that mean for us as Catholic Christians living in modern society? How are we bringing the light of Christ into – and despite – the darkness of the world? Truly, are we that much different than members of the early Church, forging our identity as Christ-followers in the face of a culture that mocks and despises him?
Our Gospel reading from St. Matthew tells us that we do not know the day or the hour that the Master will come. We are called to be watchful and ready for Him. Are you ready? I can honestly say that I’m not there yet, but I am really striving to be! Some days it’s all I can do to be sure that my shirt isn’t on inside out and the kids are fed. But I keep forging ahead, one flip-flopped foot in front of the other, one imperfect prayer at a time.
I do sincerely believe, though, that we often underestimate the power of our humble prayers, faithfully offered. Isn’t that what God really wants? For us to return to Him time and time again in the quiet conversation of our hearts that says, “I’m not perfect, Father, but I am here – I keep showing up – and I offer You all that I am, warts and all”? St. James tells us that the prayers of a righteous person are very powerful. So, are my prayers enough to help change this world I live in – to change myself? I choose to hope this is true.
Speaking of powerful prayers, today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Monica, a notorious intercessor whose son, Augustine, was brought back to the Faith in large part because of her steadfast prayers for his conversion. I am honored to share my thoughts about today’s readings and Monica’s life over at Blessed is She today. I hope you’ll ponder and pray with me, for nothing shall be impossible for God. Not the messiness on my kitchen floor or the brokenness of my life … not even my eternal salvation, found in Him alone.
God bless you!