Daily Surrender

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Today, I attended Elegate 2012. It was an amazing experience. In some ways it reminded me of my Protestant roots. A large group of young adults singing loudly, praising God, and listening to a talk meant to lift and inspire us all. It made me feel more comfortable. It made me truly realize that there are young Catholics who are just as fired up about their faiths as my Protestant brothers and sisters, despite the popular belief to the contrary. I knew that before, but now I have seen it demonstrated in a way to which my friends would be able to relate. And it was wonderful. Also, the young priest that was the speaker told us a little about his background and it was very similar in many ways to the stories of a few former pastors of mine. He spent his high school and early college years getting into trouble. Drinking too much, drugs, the “party scene,” stealing. Until he had a radical encounter with the forgiveness of God at confession (and this is where the similarities end) at a retreat that he was talked into going to by an older lady at his parents’ church. Up until this point, most of the priests I met had either not shared their stories or had been born Catholic and lived the faith faithfully, surprising no one when they decided to enter the priesthood. It’s nice to see that pastors of the Catholic faith are as varied as those of the Protestant faith.

But, more importantly, there were lessons for me to learn from the night about my faith. The priest spoke about surrendering to God daily, a reminder that I needed very much. I have, on more than one occasion, surrendered my will to God’s (eg. becoming Catholic even when it would have been easier to say no), but I don’t do it often enough. I have an occasional “life changing” experience that stops me in my tracks and turns me back to God’s will, sort of. But then I call it good. And I don’t think about it again until the next life changing experience. But I should be surrendering daily. I should wake up in the morning and say, “God, I don’t know what you have in store for me today, but I’m ready and willing to go where you tell me, to do what you want me to.” I should not only be surrendering to God in the big things in life (eg. career and family), but in the little things to.

For example, as you know, I gave up Facebook recently. My intentions were in the right place. I wanted to stop distracting myself from God and give Him more time in my day, the time that I used to spend on Facebook. But I’ll be honest, that’s not quite how it’s gone. True, I don’t waste time on Facebook now. Instead, I browse pinterest, catch up on blogs, read books that I have been dying to read, find random chores to do around the house. None of these are inherently bad, but I filled up the hole in my day that Facebook left with more things rather than giving that time to God as I should have, much like the priest’s seminarian friend that he told us about. This man left his lucrative career, broke up  with his girl friend, and abandoned all his plans to follow God’s call. But while in seminary he filled the hole these big things left in his life with smaller things, like new ipads and smartphones, rather than filling it completely with God. He came to his senses and repented. I want to do the same. It is my goal here on out to surrender daily. Hourly. However often is necessary to stay on God’s track, not my own. I won’t always be successful, but I hope to improve greatly and to recognize when I fail.

I will try to share more of the lessons I learned tonight soon. But this will have to do for now. Peace and blessings!

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6 thoughts on “Daily Surrender

  1. First, you should just delete facebook entirely.

    Second, you should fill your day with as many of the Hours of the Liturgy as you can. With Christian Prayer you can do morning, mid-morning, mid-day, mid-afternoon, evening, and night prayer consistently. I do morning, mid-day, evening and night every weekday and all of them on weekends. Use divineoffice.org to help you place the ribbons or just do it without the book and just do it online (or I can help you next time I’m home).

    Third. Mass every day. Rosary every day. Holy Hour every day. The little holes in your day between work and errands will be filled with prayer and it will help a lot.

    I just jumped right into it and drew up a daily prayer structure how I wanted each day of the week to look and just started doing all of it. It was a little overwhelming the first few days, but I find myself already desiring the next hour of the Liturgy, the next Rosary or next Holy Hour.

    • First, I think that if one knows how to use Facebook it doesn’t have to be a problem. Sure, it may provide temptations, but few things in this world don’t. Facebook can be used for good (eg. sharing God’s truth in a new more far-reaching way) if one learns how to control and limit their use of it. I’m not there yet, but I think I could be and so I’m going to hold off on deleting it entirely. Also, the Newman center uses it to share events with other members of the student group so I my need it to do part of my job as peer minister. We’ll see.

      Second, I actually was starting to do this before you posted. I think I’ve figured out how it works now and I’m getting the hang of it. Hopefully I’m doing it right. I would use divineoffice.org, but I try to put off going on the internet for as long as I can because I am very quickly distracted.

      Third, if I can find mass times that will fit into my class schedule (I have class pretty much all day- morning to late evening- on Mondays and Tuesdays) I will start going everyday. I’m still not all that comfortable with the rosary but I’ve been trying to pray it more. What is holy hour? I have found that keeping a prayer journal is helpful. And I right down blessings at the end of each day so that I am always reminded to be thankful, even if it wasn’t the greatest of days. I think that one is my favorite.

      Thanks for the tips. And when is the next time you’re coming home by the way?

      • Ah. I think I knew. Well, if I’m going to do that everyday I’m going to have to hunt down a parish that I can get to that has perpetual adoration. None of the ones I know of do.

      • Just curious too about the Rosary thing. Is it that you aren’t comfortable with Mary, or is it that you just don’t have the hang of the prayer or is it something else?

      • Maybe a little of both. I don’t really know. I understand how she’s the mother of God and all that, but I’m still just not used to it. Especially prayers to her or any saint really. I think it’s something I just need to try to do more often and then it will start to feel more comfortable. I don’t know.

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