Praise the Lord, I’ve survived yet another year of college! It wasn’t pretty. There was a lot of caffeine and a lot of hair pulling and a lot of wanting to drop out of school, but by the grace of God I survived. Unfortunately, this means that I am getting closer and closer to my imminent graduation when I will be forced to become a “real person” in the “real world”. Bleh.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what my future holds I drive myself crazy. What is my vocation in life? Do I like my major enough to do it for the rest of my working career? Who will I marry? Should I home school my future children? What if I’m called to religious life? Which order will I be in? Will my Mother Superior like me? God, what are You doing with my life?!?!
But lately, God’s really been showing me how to trust in His perfect plan for me. He reminds me everyday that He loves me and only wants what’s best for me, and that sometimes I just need to take a deep breath and live life moment by moment. My current vocation is to be a good student and a good leader in my campus ministry, so these are the things in which I should direct my efforts. Why ruin the present by worrying about the future, right? I have faith (or at least try to have faith) that God will lead me where I need to go.
How to Love God More
As Christians and as Catholics, having faith in God is something that the secular world just doesn’t understand. How can you trust in something that you can’t see? Also, how do we do we practice this “faith in God”? Well, honestly, like anything else, it takes a lot of practice.
As Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta said, “Faith is love in action”. So logically, to have faith in God is to love Him. Easy enough, right? (Wrong.)
So if having faith in God means that we should love Him, how exactly do we love God?
One way is to truly fall in love with the Mass. Also, go to adoration. We as Catholics are blessed with the True Presence in the Blessed Sacrament. When we go to daily Mass and adoration, we are seeking out Jesus. We are seeking God’s plan for us. Through these actions we are able to show God that we love Him. Through our love for Him, we are able to have faith in His plan. As a priest said at a retreat I went to recently, true love can’t stand distance. This is evident in the sacrament of marriage when a husband and wife become one flesh. The same is true in our love for Jesus. If we are really in love with Him, then we should be looking for ways to always be with Him. He won’t necessarily take away the burdens we’ve been given, but He will give us peace in those burdens. Only trust in Jesus, not trust in ourselves or in other people, can take away whatever worries we may have.
Another way is to become close to our beautiful Blessed Mother Mary. She loved Jesus more than anyone else. She was His mother after all, and there aren’t many bonds stronger than that. She was the first disciple and she had undying faithfulness to God’s plan. She’ll bring us closer to her Son, Jesus. All we have to do is ask.
Lastly, the best way we can show our love for God is by showing love to others. We are all made in His image, so by loving one another we directly love God. We can do this by helping a coworker out with a hard project which we aren’t assigned, taking time out of our schedule to have lunch with a long lost friend or even something as simple as smiling at a stranger in the grocery store. It can be hard sometimes to love other people, especially when they hurt you, but we can unite the loving sacrifices we make for others with Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the Cross. There is no greater love that we can have for God than to give up everything for Him.
Love is a Call to Action
So in the spirit of Pentecost, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to have more faith in God. Also, challenge yourself to fall more deeply in love with God everyday.
As Catholics, we are blessed to have so many ways to grow in our spirituality. As I mentioned before, adoration is one of those ways. Here’s a list of parishes in Austin that host perpetual adoration:
5909 Reicher Dr
Austin, TX 78723
1718 Lohman’s Crossing Rd
Austin, TX 78734
St. Louis King of France
7601 Burnet Rd
Austin, TX 78757
St. Catherine of Sienna
4800 Convict Hill Rd
Austin, TX 78749
2435 Oak Crest
Austin, TX 78704-5317
St. William Catholic Church
620 Round Rock W Dr
Round Rock, TX
And if you have any advice for this young “trying-not-to-freak-out” almost college senior, please post in the comments!