St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Living the Moral Life 67

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The moral life is always going to be a pilgrimage we make through our lives. In this pilgrimage, we are not alone. We have each other, but we also have our Father in Heaven helping us along the way. By the very gift of baptism, we can call God our Father (Mt 6:9). Our Father in Heaven is always there for us. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is or where we are at, He is always willing to listen. He is never too busy texting or staring at the screen. We have access to His lap 24/7.

We can ask for graces to overcome the sin. This is especially important when we realize we cannot overcome the sin by ourselves and need God’s grace. But sometimes the Father wants us to struggle a little so we can appreciate the grace and develop our character. Entering into the struggle also keeps us humble so we do not fall into more sin and regret. So sometimes the Father will give us the total grace when we are at our wits end, and sometimes he is more like a spotter that weightlifters use. When you lift the weight, you do most of the work and the spotter just does enough to make sure you complete the lift. Your muscles burn and it feels like death, but a good spotter will not do too much so that you can get stronger and benefit from the lift the most.

Most of the time we end up praying for gifts for ourselves or others, but it is also good to offer prayers in praise of God. Praise can be much more powerful than any other form of prayer. Praise of God can build faith, hope, peace of soul and can even chase away those evil spirits that may tempt you. Take time to meditate and just be in the presence of God. Bring your thoughts to Jesus or just simply invite Him into your heart and mind. Ask Him to help you clear your mind and heart of any bad thoughts or feelings. Ask for any spiritual healing that you may need, especially if you are dealing with forgiveness. It is a time of intimacy with Our Father.

There are many devotions that help. The most prominent is Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Being before Jesus Himself in the Eucharist is a special time for prayer. Not only do we put ourselves spiritually before God, but we are actually physically before God. If the Eucharist had ears, He would be able to hear you physically too. Who knows, maybe He does. During adoration, spend time in silence. The silence allows you to hear God. He may not speak in an audible voice. God usually speaks through your thoughts when you are in silence and peace. It takes time to learn how to listen to God and discern which thoughts are God given and which are not. That is why we have the Church, the Bible, the Magisterium and holy friends. They help us discern what is God’s will.

Do you have holy friends? It is not good enough to have “good friends” that care about you but have no idea of who God is. We need solid people who are not a ball of emotions and have some knowledge of Church teaching. The Bible is also a great resource to pray. The Psalms, the Book of Wisdom, Sirach, all four Gospels, the Ten Commandments and any of the letters in the New Testaments are good places to start. The psalms are good to get emotional support. The others listed are good for advice, but you have to apply it to your life. That is why we need another person to help us.

Among other things, the Rosary, Chaplet of Divine Mercy, the brown Scapular, and fasting along with Mary and the Saints are wonderful aides to our pilgrimage. They all help us with our conversation with Our Father. If they help us with our relationship with Him, it has to be good.

Author: stjosephstmary

We are two Catholic Churches close to downtown Freeport, IL. Our communities are over 150 years old and have been dedicated to our lord Jesus Christ since our inception. We believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was concieved by the Holy Spirit, born of ythe Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilot, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

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