FINDING PEACE IN THE STORMS OF LIFE

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My lesson of late is to learn to accept what comes to me each day.  Instead of complaining about things that don’t go well, I need to trust that God is teaching me something and I just need to surrender in the moment.  It’s our obedience to God in the day-to-day things that develop virtue.

According to St. Alphonsus in the book Uniformity with God’s Will, “we must unite ourselves to God’s will not only in things that come to us directly from His hands, such as sickness, desolation, poverty, and death of relatives, but likewise in those we suffer from man.  For example, contempt, injustice, loss of reputation, loss of temporal goods and all kinds of persecution.  While God does not will the sin, He does will our mortification.

The happiest people are those who abandon themselves to the will of God and accept all things, prosperous and adverse, as coming from God’s hands.  When anything, disagreeable happens, remember it comes from God and say at once, “This comes from God” and be at peace.

We should unite ourselves to God’s will in external matter such as times of great heat, cold, rain, famine or epidemics.  We should refrain from expressions like, “What unbearable heat.”  “What piercing cold!”  In these instances, we should avoid expressions indicating opposition to God’s will.  We should want things to be just as they are, because it is God who thus disposes them.

We should unite ourselves to God’s will in personal matters.  For example, in hunger, thirst, poverty or desolation, loss of reputation, let us always say: “Do thou build up or tear down, O Lord, as seems good in thy sight.  I’m content.  I wish only to do your will.

Let us not lament if we suffer from some natural defect of body or mind such as poor memory, slowness of understanding, little ability, lameness or general bad health.   Who knows?  Perhaps if God had given us greater talent, better health, a more personable appearance, we might have lost our souls!” (from Uniformity with God’s Will)

As we let go of trying to be perfect, fewer people will irritate us.  It’s a much freer life because all we have to do is take the responsibility for communicating what is going on inside of us and give it to the Lord and then let Him save, heal, and redeem them. When we see someone who repulses us, it’s helpful to say, “But for the grace of God, there goeth I.” It’s a grace of God that we are open to His will.  Real peace and joy is responding to God in the moment as He called us to do.  The safest place on earth is in God’s Will.

God said He will give us the grace to do what He called us to do.  Do we believe that?  Then we can really be what our heart is calling us to be as long as it is what the Father has called us to.  We can count on Him for fidelity to take us and to give us the grace to open the doors and close those doors that need to be opened and closed inside of us and outside of us in order for us to be who He calls us to be.

Before going to bed, it’s good to do an Examination of Conscience. When someone or something disturbs you, ask yourself, “Why am I feeling this way?  Where did it come from?” Journal what’s going on and ask the Lord how to pray for the person.  Why am I so wounded?  Why did that hurt me?”  Then close your eyes and try to be still to see if God will bring up something.  Then in that quiet, an image may flash of a memory.  Usually it’s unjust situations, but go back and look at that person.  Why did they unjustly do that when we aren’t guilty or didn’t do anything to cause that.  Then you look with sorrow for that person.  What is going on in the person? Look with the eyes of Christ that that person did such a thing.  Pray for them and forgive them.

Be still before God after you journal.  There is something powerful when you write things out as you don’t have to deal with it in the brain anymore.  It’s there on paper so it gives it a voice and you feel heard.  Then afterwards, close your eyes and see what God says.  What does he want me to say or do?  Sometimes He gives us words, images, reflections, flashbacks…

By looking too negatively at people, we are actually cursing them.  Why not give them the benefit of the doubt and let God handle it.

Put your foot in the other person’s shoes.  We bind ourselves to the people who bother us by our negative judgments.  We try to do something and we can’t move because there’s this tug and pull wherever we bind ourselves to another.  By our judgment, we are carrying around that bondage or unforgiveness.  We’re just hurting ourselves.  We think we’re hurting the other person, but by looking negatively we are hurting ourselves.  Because anything we don’t bless, we curse.  So we’re making it difficult for that person’s woundedness to be healed also.  Instead, we can pray for them and ask God to open up their heart and help them see the truth of their ways and what they did..  Turn it into a prayer for the person.  That way you’re unbinding yourself and you’re loosening whatever it is that caused that reaction in them.  When we don’t forgive, our bodies can manifest it in back pain or some other ailment.

If someone has resentment towards you, you can bind up that spirit of resentment in him or her.  As you’re praying for the person, you bind whatever it  is that’s going on—for example, judgmentalism.  Bind up the spirits and cast it from the person and send it to the cross to be rendered helpless.  Then fill those areas.  Turn those resentments into forgiveness.  Fill them with love.  Whatever you take out, you put in the opposite—God’s virtues

 

 

 

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