“I love you, Lord my strength, Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, My God, my rock of refuge my shield, my saving horn, my stronghold!” (Psalm 18: 2-3)
In a world that is full of distractions and temptations it is not easy to stay the course. So many find themselves not even knowing what direction their life is going simply because they were not able to remain firm in living out even an initial plan. If this is common for business or career plans, how much more so for the spiritual life.
The basic plan for spiritual life is clear: My spiritual life is quite simply my relationship with God. In my efforts to grow in love for God I cannot ignore the other side of the same coin, love for my neighbor, love for the Church, love for those I live with and around. There are a million things I can do, think, say and desire that feed my love for God and neighbor. The course is clear, but it is so hard to stick to the course. What are we missing? The virtue of fortitude. “Fortitude is the moral virtue that ensures firmness in difficulties and constancy in the pursuit of the good.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1808)
All good athletes and businessmen have attained the virtue of fortitude to some degree by their own efforts. But how do I get supernatural fortitude, God’s strength? “Human virtues acquired by education, by deliberate acts and by a perseverance ever-renewed in repeated efforts are purified and elevated by divine grace. With God's help, they forge character and give facility in the practice of the good.” (#1810 CCC) My effort is needed but it’s not enough. I need GOD TO BE MY STRENGTH. “Everyone should always ask for this grace of light and strength, frequent the sacraments, cooperate with the Holy Spirit, and follow his calls to love what is good and shun evil.” (#1811 CCC)
“Do not be saddened this day, for rejoicing in the Lord must be your strength!" (Nehemiah 8:10)
Here are three simple ways to make GOD YOUR STRENTH in everyday life.
1. Make a visit to the Eucharist every day. Just drop by a Church for a few minutes and kneel before the tabernacle to tell Christ you need him. Ask him to make you strong.
2. When you can’t make it to a Church just stop for 3-5 minutes and unite yourself to Christ in prayer as if you were actually there at his feet.
3. Many times a day take 1-2 seconds to lift up a prayer to God. It is often helpful to take a clip from your favorite Psalm, for example: “I love you Lord, my strength.” (Psalm 18) The simplest practices are often the most effective.
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