It’s amazing to me how different they are from one another, and yet, there were a couple that we almost exactly the same.
While out on my long walks each day, I was also struck by how many barns are falling into disrepair. This one, however, was well maintained. I guess even farmers are stressed out and don’t have time to take care of everything.
While I was away, riots were breaking out in Europe, our elected officials in Washington were doing a poor job at figuring out a way to get us deeper into debt, and the list of negatives goes on and on. Gratefully, I wasn’t following any of it. Maybe that’s another problem we’re all having today. We’ve become news junkies.
I think I told you that I gave up my cable tv several months ago now. What a wise decision. This has brought a lot of peace into my life, and I highly recommend it. Add the cost savings, and you’re on a roll.
On Sunday morning, I got up early and went to Mass at St. Anthony’s Shrine, just at the foot of the mountain that gives Mount St. Mary’s University it’s name. I have been driving by this little country church for years, on my way to the Grotto, one of my favorite places to pray. The funny thing is, I’ve never been inside.
How nice it was to be able to finally enter and continue my country experience. I left there with a renewed strength and peace. A perfect way to spend a Sunday morning. On my way back to the retreat center, I picked up some breakfast and a newspaper. I even got a large cup of decaf coffee, something I’m trying to wean myself off of.
So, in this final installment on my country experience, I want to encapsulate my points from the last couple of days.
- Most all of us are pretty stressed right now. In order to maintain our health, we have to take time for ourselves. Finding out how to do this on an ongoing basis is a goal all of us need to be working toward.
- Being quiet in God’s presence, and as St. Ignatius would remind us, we can find him in all things, allows us to really hear what he’s trying to say to us. Many people I know focus their prayer on just asking God for things, only paying attention to what they want. Taking time to be quiet with God allows us to make a shift and focus on what he wants.
- When the sun is behind you, the shadow you cast can be huge. I never paid much attention to my shadow, but on the roads I walked, it seemed like the sun was always behind me and my shadow sometimes streched thirty feet or more. In prayer, it came to me that as long as the Son stands behind me, I can do all I’m meant to do without worry. I’m bigger, stronger, taller because He’s with me. It’s exactly the same for you, no matter what you’re facing right now.
- We should never give up praying for situations that seem hopeless. If there ever was a time to trust, now is it. Don’t stop asking for God’s help. Even if it seems like your prayer was left unanswered, have confidence that God has another plan.