One of Many Spiritual Aha Moments

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Hello everyone! I am back in the beautiful town of Blacksburg, ready to start my senior year of college at Virginia Tech (where did the time go?). I am active in the Newman Catholic Community and have started attending some of the events at the Newman House. So I was in night prayer tonight, and the reading really spoke to me. In Ephesians 4: 26-27, Paul says “If you are angry, let it be without sin. The sun must not go down on your wrath; do not give the devil a chance to work on you.”

I was so taken aback by what Paul said here. It really got me thinking about my own spiritual/faith journey. First, I have been angry with my brothers and sisters multiple times and I have let my anger get the best of me. I also realized that I am at my weakest when my mind is idle, i.e. when I give the devil a chance to work on me.

I distinctly remember one time when I was on a run and I was thinking angry thoughts about someone I love very much. This person was frustrating me to no end and I had let myself become so consumed by this frustration, that I was actually forming this horrible and negative image of them in my head. Obviously, that anger and frustration wasn’t being fruitful at all. My anger had become so intense, that I was forming an image of that person in my head that was simply untrue, or at the very least, quite exaggerated. Overall, I think what I, and by extension everybody else, needs to do is take that anger to prayer. What can I do to make my relationship with that person 5068203_orig-300x199better? How can I keep from becoming so angry? Pray for that relationship. Pray for patience and understanding. Now obviously, relationships are not perfect and we can’t fix ourselves instantaneously, but God will always be there to help us in our anger and frustration.

Moving on to the second thing that really stood out to me, the devil working on me. Now I know that the reading specifically mentions the devil working on you when you’re angry, but that last little bit made me think; when else does the devil work on me? I have found that the devil works on me when I am not doing anything productive or when I am away from a faith environment. My great-grandmother always used to say “the idle mind is the devil’s workshop” and I have definitely experienced that in my life.

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Whenever I am aimlessly surfing the web or procrastinating during a night that is supposed to be filled with doing homework, I always feel spiritually empty. Not only am I not getting work done, but I am stressing about the work that is not getting done. The problem is, I don’t want to do it. At these moments, God is pretty much the last thing on my mind, and that is a real problem. God always needs to be the center of my life, and that includes the moments when I am writing an article for my communication classes.

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I also struggle to keep sin at bay when I am not in a fruitful faith environment. What does that mean you may ask? Usually, when I am at mass, in a faith-sharing small group, or at a retreat or talk, I feel so pumped and motivated. “Yeah, I am going to tackle this sin that has taken over my life” or “I can definitely work on this frustration or anxiety.” When a1563986445_10I am at those events, I am a “spiritual Superman” who can get the job done. But then I leave those events and ultimately fall back into the cycle of sin and it is really frustrating. Ultimately, that part of my faith life is still very much a work in progress. How do I keep that “spiritual Superman” mentality when I am in a more secular environment?

Wow, it is crazy what one little moment in night prayer can inspire? I hope my little moment has inspired you in your faith and hopefully, you can find your little moments in life as well!

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Jacob Clore

Contributor

You Are in the Song I Sing, You Are in the Melody I Play

Ah, music. How I love your notes, melodies, lyrics and all that jazz (pun intended). A lot of us have that one thing that we really feel passionate about, something that makes us really excited or happy or a whole bunch of emotions. For me, that thing is music.

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Photo Credit: Brenda Perez

Music is something that completes me. Without music, I feel my life would be like the minions without their boss in the Minions movie. I know, way out there reference.

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Photo Credit: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/super-bowl-2015-movie-preview-star-wars-jurassic-world-avengers-footage-expected-1485783

And on another level, music adds so much to my faith life. To hear people express their love of Christ, Mary, the saints, the Eucharist and many other faith-based topics in music is beyond amazing.

Now I know that the Mass is not all about music, but the music selection has the potential to add so much to it. Whenever I hear certain songs, like I am the Bread of Life or The Supper of the Lord (both of which I heard last Saturday), I feel so alive. I get that spine-tingling, heart leaping joy that helps me realize that God is there with all of us in the ceremony. We have another way to listen to God’s word, through song!

And you know the great thing about singing in the pews, who cares what you sound like? In the pews, everyone’s voice blends together into this sound of awesomeness. Even if your voice isn’t perfect (like mine) you can still let out your emotions and feelings for Christ in the Eucharist in a very special way. I mean, it isn’t a Gospel choir, but it is something special.

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I remember one time when I felt very connected to God through music. I was playing guitar a retreat during adoration, performing songs that I loved and hoped everyone else would love as well. I looked up for a good look after a few songs, and I saw some people kneeling with their eyes closed, singing their hearts out. I saw some sitting in the chairs with their hands out. I saw some standing hanging on to the chairs in front of them. Right there, I saw it. I saw that the music united people in their love of Christ. Needless to say, I had an amazing time performing music at that adoration.

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Photo Credit: http://deusnobiscum.com/online-adoration/

Bottom line is, I really hope that you find that something that makes you really feel connected to Christ. If it is music, then yay! Join the Newman Musicians and I at Virginia Tech! If it is poetry, be poetic! If it is painting, paint God a masterpiece! If it performing random acts of service all day, surprise us! Do whatever positive and morally sound act makes you feel connected God! I am sure he will be pleased with whatever work you make out of it!

Blog Profile Pic Jacob Clore – Editor and Contributor