Many people observe spiritual life as one filled with tears and sorrows. They think it is a matter of saving our souls somehow, moving stealthily and struggling towards perfection. But the third letter of St. John speaks; ‘Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul’. These are the words written to Gaius, one of his disciples.
We should not be afraid. Our God is mindful of us. He is aware of the struggles that we go through in our life. He knows our efforts to succeed in spiritual life. God looks so tenderly in to our needs, failures and shortcomings. Even though you may fall, he will let you wake up by giving you a helping hand. For, our Lord wants and deeply desires our souls to be joyful.
God wants our life to be prosperous and fruitful
It is not merely the good state of the soul that He desires. God wants our life to be prosperous and fruitful in all the realms of life. If you are a farmer, God wants you to live for Him in that profession. It is also His wish that your agricultural land produce in abundance to make you economically stable.
Do not give up if your land does not produce well. Ask and pray to your Almighty God to bless your possession. Toil with your Lord. He will bless you abundantly. Isaac could harvest plentifully in the barren land of Garar when he worked hard with the Lord.
Do not be afraid of the painful and challenging life situations that you go through. Your God is ready to bless you. He promised Abraham that ‘You will be a blessing’ (Gen. 12:2). It means that Abraham is an instrument in the hands of the Lord to bless the land and nation. In order to be a blessing in your family, office, school, profession… entrust all who trouble you into the hands of the Lord and pray for them.
Promise of the Word of God
The Word of God promises; ‘You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; you children will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you from Zion. May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.’ (Ps. 128:2-5). Read with care, these words reveal an order of blessings. First you are blessed, then your family and nation. Now gaze at the face of the Lord who promised to bless you, lifting your eyes from the life situations clouded with despair. Repeat the promises that He has given you. Once you pray using the Word of God, Satan who pushes you back will run away with fear. You will be filled with God’s light and joy.
I pray a lot, but nothing happens?
Now you may think that you pray very much but the life situations remain unchanged. What should be the reason? There is no change for God’s Word and His promises. They should not be doubted. Reasons could vary in this case.
God has chosen a specific time to bless each one. It depends on our eagerness and success in using this specific time plan to be blessed in life. For example, an old man would have enough leisure time. His blessing depends on the way he uses the time given for him. He can never enjoy life, if he complains and murmurs every time. Thus he causes pain to himself and others. Instead if he uses this free time praying for his family, children and grand children, it would make the difference. Through him the family as well as the future of the land will be blessed. He can be fruitful even at this old age.
Suppose an officer is very punctual in his office, anyone who approaches him happily meets his/her needs. People would like to approach him for help. He is a blessing and cause of joy in other’s life. Instead if he causes trouble in the life of others making them come again and again for a single need… when people realize that it is useless to approach him… He is a curse for others and the nation.
Each human being is called to bear fruit
Make an examination of conscience and learn where you stand. As a fruitful tree or a block to others happiness? In order to be fruitful in life, we should live for God. One who works hard for himself/herself cannot find true satisfaction in life. If we deny ourselves and thirst for the kingdom of God, real joy and happiness will enshroud our life. We are not sure whether we will be alive for the next moment. What is given to us is this moment. Use it carefully and with great love. Be a people builder.
How was it that the thief on the right side of the Lord, could obtain salvation? He used his opportunity well. He had a little time, but it made difference in his life.
Let us think of prophet Elisha who responded promptly to the call of the Lord. ‘He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.’ (1 Kg. 19:21). The yoke and oxen earned him day-to-day living. But he was ready to burn it, as not to return to the work again. His decision was firm. There may be many temptations calling you back. Unless you kill them, they will kill you. Say ‘Amen’ to the Lord at the proper time.
Let us pray: Lord, I thank you that you call me now. Give me the grace to turn my heart to you unconditionally. The blocks for my blessing are in me. Give a repentant heart. Let me become an instrument in your hands. Holy Mary, mother of God, St. Joseph, pray for us. Amen.
– – – written by K.J Mathew