One of Many Spiritual Aha Moments

aha_title

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.

The-Devils-Workshop

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.

d8fab7a8e2e9ebf679879ce77675bcad

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!

Blog Profile Pic

Jacob Clore

Contributor

Open Letter to Millennials

Multiethnic Group of People Socail Networking at Cafe

Photo Credit:  www.multifamilyexecutive.com

I see you at Starbucks. I see you watching Netflix. I see you at $5 PBR night. I also see you struggling to make it.

I feel you. I feel it. I also wish someone had written this to me.

Dear Millennials,

You (and I) know the times right now are not the best. We are in the wake of terrorism, political elections, finishing school, entering the workforce, leaving our faith, poverty in our communities, environmental problems, opposition to the faith, personal relationships and families. We have student loans, car payments, more bills, young children, emails to send, one last appliance to fix and a house to buy. Not to mention, we face the constant challenges associated with faith.

We get lost.

We also see that our generation of 18-35 year olds has an expectation of being the fixers, the innovators, the outspoken, the leaders, the passionate and even the best generation yet (I may have made that up).

It is interesting, however, that we are not known as the generation who has masculine, confident and committed men or feminine, confident and committed women.

Why are we not seen as these virtuous men and women?

Sarah Swafford states that in order for us to be our best we must use our head in a way that our hearts can follow. Pope John Paul II (JP2 for the win) stated that, “Man must reconcile himself to his natural greatness.”

So, obvious question:

How can we, as the fixers, innovators, outspoken, passionate leaders use our head and hearts to strive for ‘natural greatness?’

Simple answer: We need to ignore society’s expectations of growth.

Saint Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, says it perfectly:

I, then, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to live in a manner worthy of the call you have received: Ephesians 4:1.

In other words, grow up and live like the grownup God made you to be.

Discern your vocation.

Yeah, you may be the fixer, the innovator, the outspoken, passionate leader, or you might just be the person behind the open letter.  Yes, the times are not the best, but you cannot be the modern Marvel superhero without looking toward our actual superhero–our Savior Jesus Christ.

Millennials, we are in this together with the ultimate cheering squad. You are all awesome, virtuous people. Start living like it.

I am rooting for you.

Taylor Profile Picture Taylor Ferebee – Contributor


What are some of the challenges that you face as a Catholic Millennial? Feel free to comment in the section below!