Now that Advent has begun I have been praying more and asking the Lord what he wants me to do to prepare for His birth. When I pray I usually talk to Jesus like I would talk to a friend. Jesus is your best friend and you can tell him anything. After having a conversation with Him it is important to listen. I have been working harder on the listening part.
I recently quit my part time job and am planning on focusing more on my two businesses and my children. I now believe that the Lord wants me to use some of my new free time to serve Him. Every day when I pray I ask Him, “How do you want me to serve you?”
People in our lives can teach us how to better serve the Lord.
I have always looked up to my parents, especially my mom. She worked hard as a Catholic school teacher while raising five children in the faith. Both of my parents are generous with their time and gifts from God. My father is a talented house painter and he helped paint and fix up a youth center for his community. My mother volunteers at the local food pantry. They also donate to pro-life and Catholic organizations that do good works throughout the world. Growing up I remember my mother saying her daily prayers and reading the Bible. Her father died tragically when she was only eight. This tragic event shaped who she is today. God gave my mother a gift to help others grieve during times of loss.
My parents have been blessed throughout the years. I believe it is because they have chosen to dedicate their lives to our Lord. When I was growing up we didn’t have much money but, every year we had enough to go on a family vacation. My parents had and still have many friends. Four out of their five children have college degrees and are happily married with families of their own. My parents are healthy and active. They are both over 70-years-old and have traveled all over the world. They live in a nice home in a nice community and never have to worry about money again. They are truly blessed.
Examine your spiritual life to find out what you can improve on.
Every year when it gets closer to the new year I take a look at my spiritual life and relationship with Jesus. What can I do better? I always promise to pray the rosary every single day and start reading my bible more often. But, life happens. One year we moved. Then my children were in and out of therapy or hospitalized due to mental health. Last year I was busy publishing my first book. Then my husband was out of work and I had to go back to work. I used all of these life events as excuses to spend less time with the Lord. Today my youngest is having major behavior difficulties in school. My oldest lost her job and at age 21 she still lives at home. Maybe the Lord is trying to tell me that it is time to change my life and spend more time with Him.
What have I been doing differently? Change is hard for me. Once I get into a routine I feel comfortable. I get anxious if my routine is interrupted. I am taking baby steps to change my life. When my daughter lost her job suddenly I had an extra 45 minutes in the morning. I no longer have to take her to work in the morning. I am using this time to attend daily mass.
The mass is the greatest prayer. An article in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis‘ website states that,
“The Mass is the only place on earth that represents, in a way that we can participate, the crucifixion and resurrection of God. This event is the focal point of all history, the most important event in eternity, and we are invited to sit in the front row and participate. With a greater understanding we realize that we are not spectators. We are invited by the main character of this drama, Jesus Christ, to participate in this supreme act of love, this heavenly liturgy.”
When I attend mass by myself I am able to concentrate more on prayer. At Sunday mass I pray through music by playing my flute. I also get distracted by my children if they are misbehaving. Attending daily mass during the week is so uplifting and the best way to start my day. Yesterday I was praying so hard after communion that I started to cry.
Spend more time in prayer.
On Tuesday mornings I join this small prayer group at church and we pray the rosary. This prayer group is called the Marian Movement of Priests and was started by Father Stefano Gobbi in 1973 after he received messages from our Lady.
“In a message to him on August 29, 1973, Our Lady told Fr. Gobbi:
“Whatever I communicate to you, my son, does not belong to you alone, but it is for all my priest-sons, whom I love with predilection.
Above all it is for the priests of the Marian Movement of Priests whom I love most tenderly and whom I want to form and lead by the hand to prepare them for their great mission.
Therefore gather together in a booklet whatever I have told you…”
And thus, by means of these messages, Mary began to make use of Fr. Gobbi as a humble instrument to gather all priests who would accept her invitation to consecrate themselves to her Immaculate Heart, to be strongly united to the Pope and to the Church in union with him, and to bring the faithful into the secure refuge of her motherly Heart. ” mmp-usa.net.
We read Mary’s messages from Fr. Gobi’s book and pray a rosary. I always feel good after praying the rosary. My next step will be to set aside time every single day to pray the rosary. My life is difficult right now. I am raising four children with special needs along with a live-in adult child that also has special needs. My youngest has been suspended from school several times this year due to violent behavior and vulgar language. My marriage is challenging. I live in a state with very high taxes and we struggle to provide for our family of seven. I need Mary’s help.
“The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary. There is no problem, I tell you, no matter how difficult it is, that we cannot resolve by the prayer of the Holy Rosary.” -Sister Lucia dos Santos of Fatima
Listen to the Lord and you will be blessed.
I believe the above statement with all my heart. He wants me to have a closer relationship with Him. We must trust the Lord that he will help us during times of need.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, on your own intelligence rely not; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs, 3:5-6.
God will bless me. Right now my life is troubled. I need to be patient with Him and do more to serve the Lord. If you are struggling with life’s challenges you too can turn to the Lord for help. Pray more, do more good works, serve others, share your treasure and talent and God will bless you too.