Prayer Practices and Missteps

For the past several months, I was attending morning Mass about once a week.  For the past two weeks, the practice has fallen by the wayside as often happens in life.  Things get busy, some things get pushed to the side or skipped over.  And I have to say, that things were better when I was in a better prayer routine.

 I’m not saying that attending Mass, or any prayer practice, is like a magical formula that makes your life automatically better.  What I am saying is that when we have a regular prayer practice, life is easier to cope with because those things that we are worried about, stressed about, etc., are put in their proper place when we examine them and see that God is with us.

 This morning, I did make it to Mass, at least for most of it.  And I was glad that I did.  One of the readings today was on the conversion of St. Paul from Chapter 9 in the Acts of the Apostles. The priest in his homily referenced something that I was not familiar with at all—that there were two conversion stories in the Bible reading.

 Along with Paul who was converted as a persecutor of Christians to an apostle of Christ, Ananias had a conversion experience. Ananias was someone who already believed in the Lord, so his conversion was one of will, not of belief. The priest explained that the Lord asked Ananias to go to Paul so that he could “see again.” Ananias did not want to go at first because he heard of Paul and his persecution of the Christians.  But eventually, he took the walk to where Paul was and did as the Lord said.

 I liked the homily so much because the priest put an emphasis on the fact that Ananias walked to where Paul was.  He willingly walked the walk, even though at first he didn’t want to.  He chose to follow God’s will and not his own.  It really made me think about how each day we are given the choice to follow our will, or God’s.  And sometimes those two wills are not nearly the same. 

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