A famous basketball player, in an interview for a sports magazine, once said: “It’s my failures that taught me how to be a great success. Many times our team would be losing in the last seconds of the game and the coach would say, ‘Give the ball to Michael, and Michael, you win the game for us.’ That happened quite a few times. And many times I would score, but a lot of times I didn’t make the shot. When I missed the shot, the next day I’d go to the gym by myself and practice that same shot over and over—-sometimes for two or three hours. Because I persisted, and did not give up, those failures helped me later in life.”
“Those failures helped me in later life.” That’s something we must remember when we look at our own life. It’s a lot easier to give up and walk away from something than to face the challenge. And this can happen in our spiritual life as well, especially when we think that our prayers aren’t being answered or we become frustrated because of recurring sins—-the things you do that you know are wrong but can’t seem to stop.
The biggest mistake in those cases is to walk away from God. So, here’s some good spiritual advice:
We certainly must feel sorry for having sinned, then ask God for pardon and the grace not to offend him again in this way. We should then go to Confession at the right time. Then, without making ourselves sad or discouraged, we should recover our peace as quickly as possible with the help of God’s grace, and resume our normal spiritual life as if nothing had happened. The more quickly we recover our peace, the better it will be. We make better progress this way than by becoming irritated with ourselves.
Second, concerning prayer:
Someone in a blog on a religious site wrote this question: “Why is God so removed from me? I don’t think he wants to hear my prayer”. And the response came: “You have the wrong idea. Christ is taking your prayers to the Father. You have to trust that Jesus is with you and that you are in God’s presence because of Christ. Jesus knows the right time for your answer. Think of it this way, Christ is the mediator between us and the Father. So, our union with Christ means that we are getting through to God. So, listen to Jesus who connects you to God, and stop thinking God is so distant. Don’t forget, God is trying to get through to you, too! It works both ways.
Living a life of faith requires perseverance and discipline. It requires patience and trust. But remember, God will win in the end. Evil never prevails.
Sr. Ruth Burrows says that our journey of faith is like “a frail boat tossed like a cockle shell on the waves with not the slightest chance of survival in itself. Only the presence of the Lord is its security, and he is asleep, inactive.”