Friday, April 23, 2010

God is in Control

Last week, I was reading an interview with a seminarian, soon to be ordained, in the Catholic Standard and Times and one of his comments was most timely. "God is in control." We don't always know why things happen, or even why they don't happen, but if submit ourselves to His will and forget ours, we should accept what comes to us and move on, right? We know that, so why is it such a struggle sometimes?

I got to thinking about how sometimes, I can draw an analogy between my prayer life and my days as a distance runner. To run long distances in a race with any success, you have to go on long runs, often long solitary runs, over many miles to acquire the necessary conditioning. Some days, you just don't feel like going out and every step feels like it might be your last. And then all of a sudden, you break the barrier and your steps start feeling lighter and it's not so difficult anymore. But what would have happened had you not gone at all every time you felt this way is that you would lose conditioning and fitness and eventually, you might give up altogether because of a few bumps in the road.

I think our prayer life is like this too sometimes. We just don't "feel" like it. This is something very hard to grasp sometimes, that we need to "feel" something. Perhaps the best offering we can make of all the things we do are those we don't feel. St. Therese often referred to insensible joy, which is joy that cannot be felt but which gives the inner peace that God loves you, and you are on the right path, and you have left everything in His hands. But like the distance runner, the wrong thing to do would be to hang it up. So don't. Ever.

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