Friday, October 26, 2018

Seeking Shelter

Luke 12:54-59

"Jesus said to the crowds,“When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain–and so it does...'" And I, for my part, seek shelter. I work to protect myself from the downpour and the wind. I actively seek protection from the storm. Jesus continues, "and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot–and so it is." Here too I look for protection. I work hard to find shade, a fan, or air conditioning to keep myself from the damaging effects of the heat. I do not expose myself to the fierce rays of the sun or the burning heat of the wind but rather hide myself in the cool places. He continues: "You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time?"

Why do I seek shelter from the rain but allow myself to be drenched by sin? How is it that I can protect myself from the downpour and the wind yet I do nothing to protect myself from the near occasions of sin? When I see temptation coming my way, like dark clouds on the horizon, why do I not actively seek protection from that storm? And why do I not seek the cool shade in the shadow of Our Lord's wings when the heat of this world's sinful pressures bear down upon me? How is it that I don't hide myself from the damaging temptations of this world in the cool quiet of Adoration and prayer?

Why is it? St. Paul has the answer, "The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want." I do want to do good. I do want to seek shelter, protection, and shade. Yet my sinful nature fights against me. My wounded intellect keeps me standing in the storms of sin close to drowning. My sinful flesh does not recoil from the searing heat present in my sinful desires.

What hope is there for me, Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? There is only one hope. There is only One who can shelter me, save me, rescue me, protect me, keep me cool, and guide me from the wretched weather of my soul and in Him I place all of my trust. With Paul I cry out from my heart, "Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord."


How to get better at prayer.
  1. Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
  2. Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go.  Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
  3. Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days.  Mark off the days on your calendar.  If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
  4. Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him.  I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development.  God is the same way.  Spend time praying as best you can.  Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation.  Don't forget to listen
  5. Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life.  It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
  6. Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer PrimerDeep Conversion, Deep PrayerTime for GodThe Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation.
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