In Luke 10:19, Jesus told the 72 other disciples, “Behold I have given you the power to tread upon the serpents and scorpions and upon all the forces of the enemy and nothing shall ever harm you.”
We read in Luke 4:17:21, “Jesus stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me, to bring glad tidings to the poor, He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.” Rolling up the scroll, He handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at Him. He said to them, “Today, this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
In the Book of John 14:12, Jesus said, “Amen, I say unto you, whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these because I am going to my Father.”
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”—Acts 1:8.
From these different passages in the scriptures, we can say that the Lord’s will and design for our lives are for us to live a power-filled style of living. The source of this mighty power, this divine power in our lives, is the Holy Spirit. It is not from our own wisdom or knowledge or ability but from the Holy Spirit. However, many people, including Christians, do not live in the power that the Lord wants them to have. Many Christians claim for themselves only a minute portion of what God has made possible for them in Christ Jesus because they are ignorant of what the Holy Spirit can do and wants to do for them and through them. In John 7:37, Jesus says, “Let anyone who thirsts come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me as scripture says, “Rivers of living waters shall flow within him.” When Jesus mentioned the “living waters,” He was actually referring to the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit is the uncreated power of God. Jesus says in Luke 13:11, “If you then who are wicked know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will my Father in heaven give you the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
Some people describe His power as “dunamis,” a Greek word meaning “dynamite.” But I believe that this power that the Lord is giving us is more powerful, more potent than all the atomic bombs and weapons combined in this world. We have an awesome God and His power is mighty. There is no limit to His power. There is no description to His power. His power creates as well as destroys power that is not of Him and from Him. His power is Divine in nature and nothing is more powerful than divine power.
1. Have a constant, moment by moment, right personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
He should be number one in our life. He should be the King, the Lord, the Savior of our life 24/7. In John 15:7-8, Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want, and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciple.” Every time I read this passage in the scriptures, a feeling of tremendous excitement starts to “well up” within me.
2. Be an imitator of Christ.
In other words, we should strive to be like Jesus in every way. As a matter of fact, this should be the number one goal of a Christian. This necessitates for us to talk like Jesus, think like Jesus, act like Jesus did, have an attitude like that of Jesus and do what He commands us to do. Furthermore, it means “dying to self” so that we will be truly “alive in Him”(cf. Romans 6:11). I believe it is not impossible to achieve. Yes, we can achieve all of these through the power of the Holy Spirit. With God, nothing is impossible at all. In Philippians 4:13, Saint Paul states, “I can do all things with Christ who strengthens me.”
3. Constant, day-to-day, communication with God.
This is what prayer is—communication with God. We can do it with our eyes closed or our eyes opened. We can do it kneeling down or sitting down or standing up or walking around or even lying down. We can do it anywhere we are. We can do it with verbal outburst of emotion or without verbal words. Jesus said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened unto you. For everyone who asks, receives; and for the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”
Now, how many Christians do you think pray but do not really have faith that God is going to do anything great? On the other hand, how many Christians have faith but do not have the discipline to pray? If we want to see the supernatural take place in our lives, we need to live a lifestyle that is focused on constant communication with God. In Phillipians 4:6, Saint Paul says, “Be anxious for nothing. But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” In James 4:2-3, we read, “Yet, you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”
4. Be filled with the Holy Spirit.
Saint Paul says in Ephesians 5:18, “And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Every day, we should ask the Holy Spirit in faith to fill us with His presence, His power and His grace. In Luke 11:13, Jesus said, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
5. Obey the Lord’s commands and the promptings of His Holy Spirit.
In 1 Samuel15:22, the word of God says, “Obedience is better than sacrifice, submission than the fat of rams.” Our obedience to the Lord and His commands for us really moves the heart of God. Once, I was praying over a man born blind in a Catholic Coptic Church in Bethlehem, Holy Land, during a Healing Rally. This Arab Christian, named George, was 58 years old and I could only see “the white flesh” in his eyes. I could not even see his pupils because they were covered with this “white flesh.” As I was praying over George, I heard the Lord’s voice in my heart, telling me to command the “spirit of blindness” to leave him in Jesus’ name. I obeyed what the Lord was telling me to do.
Minutes later, he said he could see “shadows,” then, as I continued to pray over him, he said he could see “lights” and finally he said he could see “everything” around him. George was totally healed of blindness that day! Only in obedience to the Lord and His commands can we experience the miracles unfolding before our eyes. The following year, I went back to the Holy Land as a tour leader for 48 pilgrims. We went to Bethlehem and I came to the same Church looking for George. But Father Yacob the Parish priest told me “You can no longer see him here. George has been out there sight-seeing ever since he was healed of blindness.”
6. Saturate your entire being with God’s words.
Jesus said in John 6:63, “My words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life. “Psalm 109:105 tells us, “Your word, oh Lord, is a lamp for my feet and light to my path.” Indeed, God’s word is power! In Revelations 12:11, the Word of God says, “We conquer Satan by the word of our testimony and by the blood of the Lamb.” The “Catechism of the Catholic Church” (CCC) 104, states, “In sacred scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, for she welcomes it not as a human word, “but as what it really is, the word of God.” “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet His children, and talks with them.” Saint Jerome, one of the Doctors of the Catholic Church, says that “ignorance of scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”
7. Let us avail ourselves of the sacraments of the Catholic Church,
especially the sacraments of reconciliation or confession and the Eucharist. CCC 1422 states, “Those who approach the sacrament of penance obtain pardon from God’s mercy for the offense committed against Him, and are, at the same time, reconciled with the Church which they have wounded by their sins and which by charity, by example, and by prayer labors for their conversion.” It further maintains, “Jesus calls to conversion. This call is an essential part of the proclamation of the kingdom: ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” In the Church’s preaching this call is addressed first to those who do not yet know Christ and His gospel. Also, baptism is the principal place for the first and fundamental conversion. It is by faith in the gospel and by baptism that one renounces evil and gains salvation, that is, the forgiveness of all sins and the gift of new life (CCC 1427). In order for God’s power or anointing to remain in us, we should also avail ourselves with the Sacrament of the Eucharist daily, if possible.
The Holy Eucharist, The Documents of Vatican Council II tells us, is “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Lumen gentium, number 11; cf. CCC 1324). “At the Last Supper, on the night He was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic sacrifice of His Body and Blood. This He did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until He should come again, and so to entrust to His beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of His death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace and a pledge of future glory is given to us’” (CCC 1323). We encounter Jesus in a very special way through the sacraments of the Church. Needless to say, the sacraments are also great sources of power in a person’s life.
8. Have an expectant faith, a kind of faith that can move mountains.
What is the Biblical definition of faith? Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrew 11:1). Jesus said in Luke 17:6, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.” “And without faith, it is impossible to please God.”(Hebrew 11:6). Faith is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is God’s will for us to have a supernatural kind of faith, a faith that can move mountains. We are all unworthy to be used by the Lord. Early in my ministry of preaching, teaching and healing, I reminded the Lord that I am unworthy and I feel unworthy to be a vessel of His power. He spoke into my heart. He said, “My son, I shed my precious blood for you on the Cross in Calvary. By doing so, I made you worthy of my love for you.” I, then, asked Him to grant me the faith that can move mountains. Faith can move the heart of God.
1. Use it in the Name of Jesus and by the power of His Holy Spirit.
In Ephesians 2:9-11, Saint Paul says, “For God has highly exulted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bend of those of heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord for the glory of God the Father.” In November 2007, a lady called from Michigan asking me to pray with her for the dead fetus in her womb. She said, “I’m four months pregnant, but tomorrow, the doctors will have to remove the dead fetus from my womb. I am very scared of the doctor’s procedures and very distraught over what happened to my baby.” She said all the tests had confirmed the demise of the baby in her womb.
As we started to pray, I sensed that the Lord wanted me to speak life into the dead fetus. I followed the promptings of the Holy Spirit. I spoke life into the baby at least three times in the mighty name of Jesus. But I did not hear from the lady again until February 2008, which was five months later. She told me that she just delivered a healthy, eight-pound baby girl. When I asked her what happened, she said that on the day when the “dead” fetus was to be removed, the doctors were startled to detect heartbeats in the ultrasound. Truly, there is power in the Name of Jesus if we invoke it with love and reverence and with expectant faith.
2. Use it for God’s glory.
In 1 Corinthians 10:31, Saint Paul says, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.” All honor and glory rightfully belong to God alone, for, without Him, we are nothing and we cannot do anything.”(cf. John 15:5). When I pray for the sick, for instance, I always ask the Lord for His name to be glorified through the healing of the person.
3. Use it with humility.
There is nothing except pride that can block, warp or dilute the power of God. Psalms 18:27 says, “For you save a humble people, but the haughty eyes you bring down.” Therefore, the more humble we become, the more power and anointing from God that will reside upon us. 1 Peter 5:5 reads,” Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Jesus Himself is the model of humility par excellence. According to Saint Paul in Phillipians 2:5-8, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
4. Use it with boldness.
We should always remember that “the Kingdom of God is not only a matter of words but of power” (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:20). The power of God should be used with boldness in the Holy Spirit. When the power of God is unleashed in our midst to further the Kingdom of God, it will always accomplish its intended purposes. In 2 Timothy 1:7, Saint Paul wrote, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self discipline.” In Acts 4:31, the word of God says, “And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.” My brothers and sisters, because of their boldness in the Holy Spirit, the apostles and the disciples had turned this world “upside down” and “inside out” and this world has never been the same. The good news is that we are also called by the Lord to do the same by virtue of our baptism.
5. Use it in love.
Love is the key that opens the Kingdom and the heart of God. In 1 Corinthians 13:13, the word of God says, “So faith, hope and love remain, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” For sure, if we use God’s power with love, everything will be possible for us. In John 4:16, we read, “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.”
God bless you all!
Robert Canton is a council member of International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Services (ICCRS) representing the English-speaking North and Central America as well as the Caribbean countries. He is one of the 14 Council members who represent ICCRS to all the continents in the world. Canton also founded the Robert Canton Ministries, a non-profit organization aiming to evangelize the entire world through teaching, preaching and healing in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. He and his family have been residents of Stockton, California, since 1973.
For years I struggled with gluttony not realizing the root cause behind my overeating Yesterday, as I was getting ready for Mass, I was thinking about my continuing battle with overeating. Though I may not appear visibly overweight to the average person, I know that I eat more than I should. I eat even when I am not hungry, just because the food is there and I am tempted by it. Since I had finished dressing for Mass before my husband was ready, I decided to open a Saint Jude prayer book that I use every night for prayer to see if it also had a Morning Prayer. As I flipped through the pages, I came across a prayer for addictions which I had never noticed before. As I said the prayer, I especially asked God to heal me of my food addiction. Although I had tried to overcome the desire to overeat for years, my efforts had failed. Driving Away At Mass, the Gospel Reading was Mark 1:21–28. I said to myself, “In the same way that Jesus can drive the evil spirit out of this man, He can drive this spirit of gluttony out of me because this is how the evil one still has a hold on my life.” I felt that God was reassuring me that He could and would drive out this spirit of gluttony from me. My feelings were strengthened by the priest’s homily. In his homily, he listed many types of evil spirits we need deliverance from, such as anger, depression, drugs, and alcohol. The one he struggled with the most was food addiction. He explained how he lost forty pounds, only to gain back thirty. He added that no matter how much he has tried to stop himself, he always gives in to the temptation to overeat, thus committing the sin of gluttony. Everything he described related directly to me. He reassured us that Jesus came and died to set us free, so we cannot give up hope no matter how hopeless we feel, because hope is always there. Jesus gives us hope because He overcame death and rose again. We can thus claim victory because He has defeated the power of sin in our lives. We simply need to trust that Jesus will come to our rescue, in His own time. When we are slow to realize that we cannot do anything without His help, God sometimes allows us to be in positions where we feel helpless. This morning, during my morning prayer, I opened my book of daily reflections to a reading focused on finding peace. To find peace we must be in accord with God’s will. When we are in accord with God’s will, we can more effectively help others and lead them to the Lord. How can I help someone else if I am perfect? Can I understand someone else’s struggles if I have not struggled? When I am striving against a sin, like gluttony, my battle is not in vain. It is for a reason. God allows us to experience difficulties so that we can empathize with and help others and to realize that we are no better than anyone else. We all need each other, and we all need God. Strange Connection Saint Paul demonstrates this when he asserts “a thorn in the flesh” was given to him to keep him from becoming “too elated” and Christ told him that “power is made perfect in weakness”. So, he would “boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.” (Corinthians 12:7–9) This Scripture teaches me that struggling with my addiction to food is meant to keep me humble. I cannot feel superior to anyone because I also struggle to overcome temptation, like everyone else, whether they believe in God or not. However, when we do believe in God, the struggles become easier because we see a purpose in continuing the battle. Many people struggle with addictions and other problems for various reasons, one of which could be due to the consequence of sin. However, when a person is a believer of God and a true follower, he or she recognizes that his or her problems are meant for the good and not as a punishment. Romans 8:28 teaches us that “all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.” Most importantly, this is the reality for all who are called to God’s purpose. Knowing this truth makes the difference between seeing problems, addictions, and sufferings as punishments, or as blessings that will work for our good in the long run. When a person is called by God according to His purpose, that person is fully aware of this call, so he or she accepts the good and bad in his or her life as God’s will. As I pondered, I tried to recall when my eating addiction had started. I became shamefully aware that my own addiction to food started when I confronted and condemned one of my own relatives regarding his addiction to drugs and alcohol. I can now recognize that at the same time I was angrily condemning my relative, I was slowly becoming addicted to food myself. Ultimately, condemnation and lack of forgiveness were the sources of my addiction. The Lord had to humble me by revealing, through my own addiction, that we are all weak. We all face addictions and temptations, and struggle with them in many forms. In my pride, I thought I was strong enough to overcome temptations on my own, but in falling prey to my gluttony, I discovered that I was not. Eight years later, I am still struggling to overcome my food addiction and this sin of gluttony. God cannot use us if we feel superior to others in any way. We have to be humble enough to come down to the level of those who need us, so we can help them where they are. To avoid judging others for their weaknesses, we should pray for them, extend help and offer up our own struggles for them. Isn’t this the reason why God puts sinners and those who are hurting in our path? Every time we encounter someone else, we have the opportunity to show them the face of God, so we should leave them in a better state for having come across our path, not more hurt or broken. In Luke 6:37, Jesus warns, “Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.”
God answers prayers and sometimes He goes so far beyond anything we ever believed could happen... There’s a popular television commercial that aired for many years portraying an injured person desperately calling out, “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” Although they’re just actors selling a medical alert system that summons help in case of an emergency, each time I’ve seen that commercial I’ve wondered what it would be like to be in such a desperate vulnerable position. Being alone and incapable of getting back up after falling must feel stressful and frightening. Fortunately there are companies and gadgets we can rely on to put safety measures in place for us or our endangered loved ones. Recurring Dilemma That commercial came to mind one day when I was examining my conscience in preparation to receive the Sacrament of Penance (also known as Reconciliation or Confession). After reflecting on the things that were offensive to God that took me further from His presence, it was frustrating to fall off the path to holiness again and again. It occurred that there were things that I needed to confess that I’d previously confessed often. Saint Paul talks about his struggles with the same dilemma. In the book of Romans (7:15-19) he said, “I cannot understand my own behavior. I fail to carry out the things I want to do, and find myself doing the very things I hate...instead of doing the good things I want to do, I carry out the sinful things I do not want.” This is a struggle we all experience. The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines this unwanted inclination to sin as “concupiscence”. It was easy to relate to the actor in the commercial because spiritually I’d fallen, and it felt like I couldn’t get back up. Drawing away from God placed me in a desperate, vulnerable position deprived of many of the graces He offers us. My relationship with God was damaged, and the thought of staying in that fallen state was stressful and frightening. However, Jesus loves me. He’s merciful and has put safety measures in place for all of us who still suffer with the unwanted inclination to sin. Unceasing Prayer The church my family attended offered the Sacrament of Penance an hour before the Saturday evening Vigil Mass. It was important for me to go to Confession on Saturday because I valued my relationship with God and wanted to restore it. I asked my husband if he would join me when confessions finished, so that we could attend Mass together. To my delight, he agreed. He was raised Methodist and for over 25 years it had been my unceasing prayer that God would place the desire on his heart to come into the fullness of his faith, by becoming a member of the Catholic Church. For now, I was waiting on God’s timing and was just happy that we’d be together. The church wasn’t crowded, so before long I was kneeling before the priest to confess my sins. Confessing sin requires humility, but the joy of absolution left me feeling new and restored. After completing the penance from the priest, my heart no longer felt heavily weighed down by sin. Everything around me and in me was quiet, as a sense of peace encompassed my spirit once again. Repeatedly, I thanked God for His mercy. At one point, I sighed with contentment, “Lord, I don’t want to spoil this moment by asking you for anything. I just want to thank You over and over again. I want to be like the one leper who came back to thank You after You healed him.” I knelt there engulfed in His holy presence and understood what being in a state of grace really felt like. Jesus had restored our relationship and we were one again. However, being still and quiet is a virtue that is a regular struggle for me. It wasn’t long before a strong impulse to ask God for just one thing popped into my head. “Lord, just one thing and it isn’t for myself. Please give my husband the desire to become Catholic. I want him to know what this feels like.” Time in quiet prayer passed quickly and it wasn’t long before my husband sat beside me. I’ve heard it said that when you pray in the state of grace, your prayers are clearly heard by God. You’re so close to Him that He can hear the whispers of your heart. I’m not sure if that’s solid Catholic doctrine, but it makes a point of how important it is to remain close to God. When Mass began that evening, the priest welcomed everyone and he asked us to take a quiet moment to offer our Mass up for any personal intentions we might have that evening. His prompting was wonderful but not the way he usually opened the Mass. Not wanting to waste the moment, I immediately repeated the prayer for my husband to come into the Catholic faith. I’d never heard that priest begin the Mass like that before or since that evening. In hindsight, it was a good indication that God’s answer to my prayer was imminent. The intention remained in my heart for the rest of Mass, and I felt very connected to both God and my husband. Startling News On our way home, my husband unexpectedly said he had something to tell me. It was a very good thing that he was driving, because the following words might have startled me into swerving off the road. “I have decided that I want to enroll in the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) program at our church and see if I want to become a Catholic.” Stunned, I said nothing. Thoughts and emotions swirled through my mind and body. I recall asking God: “What was happening here? Had the Sacrament of Reconciliation cleared up the connection for you to hear my prayer? Had my personal Mass intention been heard? Were You really answering my prayers after all these years?” After regaining my composure, my husband and I talked about his decision. We had been attending Mass together for our entire marriage and it was important to him that our family went to one church. Through the years, he had had many questions, but had grown to love and trust the Catholic Church as his family. The Holy Spirit guided him to understand that was the right time to fully commit to becoming a part of that family and be able to partake in all the sacraments and their graces. The following Easter Vigil, after he’d completed the RCIA program, my husband was finally confirmed as a member of the Catholic Church, filling us both with great joy. My heart continues to dance with joy, unceasingly thanking God for this long-awaited answer to my prayer. More Surprises in Store! But wait, there’s more! God knew I’d asked Him if he’d really heard and answered my prayers. He wanted to make sure I knew for certainty that He had, because more surprises were in store. Two of our sons were in solid relationships. Both were wonderful young women who had grown up walking with the Lord in their Protestant faith. They too had been regularly included in my prayers for conversion to the Catholic faith, although I had not specifically prayed for them that evening. Within a week of that special Mass, independent of each other, both young women shared with me that they intended to become Catholics. I know with certainty that my husband's decision to become a Catholic was not a mere coincidence and as an added bonus: those wonderful young women are now my daughters- in-law. Praise God! I don’t pretend to know the mind of God, nor how the 3 of them, independent of each other, decided to become Catholics. It’s a miracle to me and I am happy to leave it at that. Okay, not exactly...one more thing. I believe that when we do something that hurts our relationship with God, we need to go to Him in Confession and say we are sorry. I believe that when we truly want to get our relationship right with God, He wants to bless us. I believe that prayer really does work and He wants to answer us. I believe that God loves me and blessed me not once, not twice, but three times that Saturday, but He wanted me to also know that He hears ALL my prayers at ALL times no matter what state I am in. I knew that I had fallen and, because of concupiscence, I am likely to fall again. Alleluia, there is good news! Even when I cannot understand my own behavior; even when I fail to carry out the things I want to do, and find myself doing the very things I hate...even when I don’t do the good things I want to do, and carry out the sinful things I do not want; with God’s grace and through His forgiveness, I know I am not alone, I don’t have to be stressed, frightened or stay fallen. I CAN get back up. Saint Paul, pray for us. Amen.
Get to know the greatest power in the universe that is capable of transforming you...and the face of the world In 2019 our Parish completed a church renovation that added a gathering space, pews, elevators, and bathrooms that made our church more accessible and welcoming. But three years after the renovation, it seems that few parishioners know about the most transformative addition of all: The Perpetual Adoration Chapel located in our church basement. The Best Time on Earth Tucked between our new Teen/Senior room and a busy staircase is a beautiful, intimate, sanctuary set aside for Eucharistic Adoration. Catholics believe Jesus is truly present—Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity—in the Holy Eucharist. Eucharistic Adoration is our worship of the Eucharist outside of Mass. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week anyone can enter this intimate space to spend time in adoration of the Eucharistic Lord displayed in a beautiful monstrance on the altar. Saint Teresa of Calcutta once said, “The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time that you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in heaven, and will help bring about an everlasting peace on earth.” Bring about everlasting peace on earth? Who wouldn’t want to do that?! And yet, most days I am just trying to be a better mom. A Strong Companionship Over the past year, Eucharistic Adoration has become an essential part of my relationship with Jesus and of my effort to parent with greater love. For “if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1). The Adoration Chapel is where I go when I feel far from Jesus. It is where I deal with the daily struggle of accompanying my family on the path to sainthood. I once saw a sign outside a church that said, “Come as you are; you can change inside.” That’s how I feel heading into Adoration—no need to dress up or make special preparation. Even if it’s been a while, I enter the chapel and pick up where I left off. My adoration time is a lot like the one-on-one time I spend with the people I love most. Just like “date night” with our spouse or having that long talk with a good friend anchors those relationships, Adoration builds trust with God and develops the kind of companionship that is comfortable with silence and presence. What does one do in Adoration? My routine varies. Sometimes I pray the Rosary, other times I meditate on a scripture passage or spend time journaling. We tend to try so hard to find God that we don’t allow Him time to find us. So, most often, I simply put myself in the Lord’s presence and say, “Lord, here I am. Please guide me.” I then lift up situations or “knots” I need help with and pray for anyone for whom I promised prayer that week. I usually leave the chapel feeling strengthened, at peace, or nudged in a new direction. Spending one-on-one time with our Lord makes our relationship more intimate. When you hear a family member coming down the stairs, you know who it is from the sound of their footsteps. That familiarity results from the amount of time we spend with family members and gives us a deep sense of knowing and appreciating each of them. Adoration fosters that kind of familiarity with God. Consider spending time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament by visiting an Adoration Chapel. Whatever your situation—if you haven’t been attending Mass regularly, if you need to lay struggles at the Lord’s feet, if you want to become a more loving parent, or if you just need to step away from the chaos of your day and step into the sacred silence of Adoration— no matter the need, you are always welcome into the Lord’s presence. Regular time in adoration will shape us as Christian disciples and as parents. As Mother Teresa tells us, it may even “bring about everlasting peace on earth”.
Saying ‘No’ would mean plunging her family into a dark hole of financial stress, yet she took that firm step… I am a 31-year-old Ex-Assistant Professor from India. ‘Ex’ because it has been months since I gave up that title. After graduating from college in 2011, I spent the next four years preparing for the Chartered Accountancy course, the equivalent of CPA preparation. I soon realized that pursuing CA was not my calling and dropped out. A Dream Come True Giving up what many would consider a lucrative career might seem foolish, but my decision led me to recognize and acknowledge my real passion, which is teaching, something I had dreamed about since childhood. After I shifted my focus to a teaching career, God blessed me with a teaching job in the Primary Section of a well-acclaimed school. Though I taught in that school for four years, I wasn’t content because my childhood dream was to be a college Professor. By the grace of God, after nearly four years of teaching, I received the certification I needed to apply for an open position as Assistant Professor at a local college. When I was offered the job, I joyfully lived my dream and served the needs of my students for two years as an Assistant Professor. Difficult Choice In the middle of my third year, our college began the accreditation process that confers a ‘Quality Status’ to institutions of higher education. Though it was a lengthy, painstaking process with too heavy a workload, things went ahead smoothly in the beginning. But eventually, we were pressured to take part in unethical behavior that bothered me greatly. The administration required us to create fake records and to document academic activities that never took place. My reaction was disgust—so strong that I wanted to leave my job. However, things were not fine at home. We are a family of four. My parents were not working, and my brother had lost his job. Being the sole earner in the family, it would be difficult to give up the job. Due to the pandemic, it would also be difficult to find another job. Despite all this, I somehow mustered the courage and submitted my resignation. But my supervisors refused to accept it, promising that I would no longer need to create false documents and that I could even work from home. Reluctantly, I accepted the terms. Within months, however, I was again asked to document an academic seminar which never took place. Each time I indulged in such malpractice, I felt like I was betraying the Lord. I shared this dilemma with my spiritual mentors who encouraged me to give up this job that did not glorify God. Tryst with Destiny Finally, I mustered the courage and I said ‘no’ to my supervisors. And it was a BIG no. Instead of submitting the assigned task, I submitted my resignation. I left the job immediately and refused my salary for the previous month since I was leaving without giving notice. Financially, I had jumped into utter darkness. My family relied on my income. My mother’s recent surgery had drained the family’s savings. I barely had enough to cover the next month’s expenses. I didn't know what to do. I didn't tell my father and brother about quitting my job because they would never have approved. I did the only thing I could do—I held firm to the Lord and relied on His strength. I sought the intercession of Mamma Mary by praying the Holy Rosary constantly. Days and weeks passed, and I received no calls for interviews. Fear started gripping my soul. By the end of September, I still had no interviews scheduled by any of the recruiters whom I had approached. I was desperate. An Incredible Surprise On September 30, I finally received a phone call from an International School located near my home inviting me to interview for a position to teach the same genre of subjects I had taught at the college. This was an incredible surprise. This School, based on Cambridge University IGCSE curriculum, requires a level of subject knowledge equivalent to that expected of undergraduate faculty at an Indian University. I was offered the position and finalized my employment in early October 2021. And God also blessed me with a higher salary than I earned at the college. Praise be to God! Today, when people ask why I left college to teach in a high school, I share how awesome my God has been to me. Even if my new position had been a humbler job with less salary, I would still have accepted it joyfully for the sake of my Lord Jesus. As I look back, I realize that worldly titles don’t matter. What does matter is that we win the eternal crown. As the Letter to the Hebrews says, “Let us…persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfector of our faith” (12:1b-2). I share my story with joy, not to malign my previous employer nor to brag that God blessed me because of how prayerful I have been. My purpose is to share my conviction that when we take one step for the Lord, He will take hundred steps for us. If you ever find yourself being asked to compromise on God’s commandments but fear that saying no will bring negative financial consequences upon you and your family, I will dare to recommend, my dear brother or sister, that you risk jumping into financial darkness for the sake of the Lord…and trust in His mercy. The experience of the Saints, and my own humble experience, assures me that our God never abandons us.
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