Monday, February 11, 2013

Going Deeper

Friends of Faith:

Over the years I have made hasty decisions based on first impression judgments, decisions which I wished I could take back or judgments that were “overturned” by further investigation.
I am often too impatient to listen for opposing views—views which often have merit or experiences beyond my own.

Sometime it takes a leap of faith to be open to study and/or search for the reason or the truth behind a message or an action revealed to me.
It takes even more faith to search within myself for my own faults. Because when I find those faults then I will have to change long held beliefs—beliefs that may be creating conflict in close relationships (with a family member or friend) or beliefs that go against societal norms—making me an outcast.

Have you ever believed something about someone, and then found out that their background or experiences “gave reason” for their action or views?
Have you ever had that “sinking feeling” that maybe you were wrong, that you were in over your head, or that you have “put your foot” into your mouth without a background to prove your position?

Have you ever tried for a long time to make something different, hoping and praying that someone or something would come to your aid and then when it did, have not wanted to do what you were being asked to do?
Getting into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, he asked him to put out a short distance from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. After he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water and lower your nets for a catch.” Simon said in reply, “Master, we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets.” When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. Lk 5: 3-6

The apostles were fishermen by trade, they had much experience. Yet Christ came along and asked them to go deeper, to try a new way, to change their opinions, to have the faith to believe in Him, to follow Him and to do as He asked.
They resisted just as most of us would have. They reminded Christ that they had already worked long and hard, that they were experienced. They thought they “knew it all.”

And yet, when they gave in, when they went deeper, when they took that “leap of faith” they were rewarded with a “catch” so great it tore their nets.
God often asks us to go deeper, to search for His truth. He tells us, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jn 14:6

Sometimes we aren’t ready to hear His truth and sometimes we choose to ignore His truth because it seems too difficult or it is inconsistent with “what everyone else is doing.”
I have prayed patiently and impatiently for change and then realized that what I was praying for was “my solution” instead of God’s solution. And God’s solution is often not what I think it will be—because the problem is not usually someone else’s, but my own attitude towards someone else.

It is much more difficult to become the solution, to go deep within me and change my attitude, than it is to pray to change someone else’s.
Heavenly Father, YOU ARE the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. Forgive me for when I make hasty judgments or pray for my wants instead of your plans for me. Help me to have a heart open and willing to search deeper into your teachings. Help me to have a heart of compassion for your “chosen children.” Thank you for giving me the opportunity to receive Your grace in the sacraments, especially at Mass in the sacrifice of the Eucharist. And thank you for the “full net” of gifts I have received by going deeper in faith: a Holy marriage, a loving spouse, and faithful friends and family. Amen.

I am learning to pray not for “my way” but “God’s way, God’s truth, God’s life” for me.
I am learning to “trust” that the people God puts in my life are truly the gifts of life.

Sometimes I go deeper in faith by studying so I can become a messenger of faith; sometimes I go deeper in faith by being a student of my friends and families faith; and sometimes I am blessed to simply witness the their depth of faith because they are able to conquer their challenges and sufferings thru His gifts of courage, wisdom, and perseverance.

As I learn the truth, I see the truth (the way); and as I see the way, I am entrusted with the life, liberty and true freedom given to us by God’s grace in joy and peace.
May your search for truth grow deeper, as God is forever, and ever, deeply more.

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