Guardian Angels News

Pastoral Pearls: To be free

Posted by MaryPat Potts on

Jesus wants us to be free. And where is this freedom created? It is created in dialogue with God in a person’s own conscience... The conscience is the interior place for listening to the truth, to goodness, for listening to God; it is the inner place of my relationship with God, the One, who speaks to my heart and helps me to discern, to understand the way I must take. ~ Pope Francis from 365 Daily Meditations with Pope Francis, July 1

I always go back to “listening for that still, small voice of God in my heart,” when I am trying to decide what to do. At least I feel best when I do this. But how often do I really stop to listen to God in my heart? When faced with decisions, aren’t I just like a lot of people, and I forge boldly (blindly) ahead, choosing what I think is right (in the moment?) If I’m honest, often the decision is so fast, that of course there really wasn’t enough time to consult God through prayer. Most times that doesn’t seem to stop me.

You may agree that, in your life as well as mine, that doesn’t always work out so well. That’s when I find myself in messes. Without God’s guidance, contrary to my own ego’s opinion, “all is not well;” “things do not always work out for the good.” If I would just listen to and take to heart those promises of Jesus. So in the long run, what gives me true freedom is taking the time to tune inward to my conscience for God’s guidance. When I do this it seems that I am amazed by the result – though I shouldn’t be.

Here’s what I’m talking about: when I think have made a really good plan for my life, but something gets in the way and derails it, I may kick and scream and fight the injustice of it all, but that only brings me frustration, anger and being stuck in negativity. What am I thinking?!  After all, I remember hearing, “We make plans; God Laughs.” If I focus on my plans, I am bound to be disappointed when they don’t match God’s plans. Freedom is being open to ‘God’s plans, instead of being so set on what I want to happen, or how things should happen. That allows me to go with the flow better, to recognize how God is taking care of me, and to not miss a better plan that God may have for me. 

For a specific example, when I was very young, newly married, rather than praying for and opening up to God’s will, I remember thinking, “Let’s take a few years just for ourselves before having children, and maybe build up a little nest egg to provide for them better.” I was so sure of this plan of mine that only a year into our marriage, one of my teaching colleagues had to be the one to suggest that I was pregnant. When I was teaching, I felt some weird excessive tiredness that caused me to fall asleep while teaching, and I was famished, but couldn’t eat anything when I got the chance to. I thought I had some strange disease. It never occurred to me I could be pregnant, because that wasn’t my plan. I have two amazing daughters – all grown into wonderful women now – and I am the first to say I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Let’s face it, I would’ve never thought I was ready to be a mom! God knew.

Maybe you can think of where in your own life you may have been too busy to tune into God’s will, or maybe disregarded it thinking you knew better. How did that turn out for you? My Plans? God’s Plans? My timing? God’s timing? It takes intention to really practice that kind of discernment, but it leads to true freedom. 

Loving God,

Please slow me down and remind me of the importance of tuning inward, to my conscience, my heart, the place I connect with you, through prayer and meditation.

May I embrace the true freedom you offer through this process.

I am grateful you care enough to lead me in your path, even despite the paths I try to create by myself. 

I ask that I may respond to the Holy Spirit’s nudging of me, so that I may move in the right direction – toward you, God, and toward your love and your will for my best.

~ Amen


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