Distractions are everywhere, from our “always on” culture bombarding us with information, to the political-divide in our country, to the pursuit of monetary gain and social status. And then there is contending with injustice, racism, and discrimination, not to mention keeping up with our family and work commitments.
It is harder than ever to stay focused on God. Whenever I find myself feeling overwhelmed or exhausted by distractions or challenges, I immediately turn to two of our “go to” quotes here at Pilgrim Center of Hope:
Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer – Romans 12: 12
Do not be afraid… Put out into the deep and let down your nets – Pope St. John Paul II
Both of these quotes have to do with having total trust in God, no matter what the circumstances are, no matter how bad things might get. Throughout the Bible, there are actually 365 mentions, one for every day, of the message “do not be afraid.”
This past Sunday’s Gospel reminds us that:
For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God – Mark 10: 27
Interestingly enough, this week we celebrate the feast of St. Teresa of Avila (October 15). St. Teresa lived a pressured life, marked by poor health, opposition, and an endless workload. Yet, she reformed the Discalced Carmelite Order and wrote some of the most powerful guides for spiritual development, like The Interior Castle and The Way to Perfection. When it comes to remaining focused on God in the midst of a storm, her “God Alone Prayer” says it all:
Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing make you afraid.
All things are passing. God alone never changes.
Patience gains all things. If you have God
you will want for nothing. God alone suffices.
When I was a young adult, before I came to know the “God Alone Prayer,” I let the smallest things disrupt my relationship with God and my spiritual life. Years later, whenever I am under pressure and short on time, I depend on God and prayer to see me through, because I have every confidence that God will show me the way.
Also from this past Sunday’s readings:
I prayed, and prudence was given me; I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me – Wisdom 7:7
Aside from turning to this Pilgrim Log for your weekly inspiration, I encourage you to watch our weekly television program Living Catholicism, which airs on Tuesdays, from 11–11:30am on CTSA, Spectrum channel 15.
Each week’s program includes a Message of Hope, an inspirational quote from Scripture, a pope, or a saint, that will help you to stay focused on God, so as to live in hope, as a pilgrim in daily life.
Every day, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:30am–5:30pm, you are welcome to come and visit our Gethsemane Chapel for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
Just outside our chapel, you will be greeted by an antique painting of St. Teresa of Avila holding a scroll with the “God Alone Prayer” in Spanish.
In closing, I want to direct you to the powerful talk presented by Fr. Bruce Nieli at our recent 25th Anniversary Prayer Brunch. Fr. Bruce, Pope Francis’ Missionary of Mercy, will re-awaken you to the hope that God gives!