Thursday, December 5, 2013

First Thursday of Advent: An Uncomfortable Truth

One night, when my youngest child was still learning her prayers, I sat on the edge of her bed while she said the Our Father. “Thy kingdom come, my will be done,” she prayed. I gently corrected her but thought her innocent mistake was packed with a whole lot of uncomfortable truth. How often do I say “thy will” without really meaning it? I’ve got my life all figured out. If only God would act according to my plan.

As I read the opening line of today’s Gospel, the memories of that bedtime prayer routine came rushing back, only this time I was the child in need of guidance and gentle correc- tion. “Whoever does the will of my Father will enter the Kingdom of heaven,” Jesus tells his disciples, reminding them that not everyone who says they’ll do the Father’s will actually follows through on those good intentions.

We hear the words, and we know what we need to do to find joy that can never be shaken, but it’s too scary. It means giving up control, stepping out into the unknown, and so we build our lives on the sands of convenience, ease, and com- fort, only to watch it all collapse around us when the first storm hits.
Do we mean what we say when we pray? Are we listening with the ear of our heart? Only then can we begin to build a life grounded in faith and reaching toward heaven.

Reflected by Mary DeTurris Poust

Mary DeTurris Poust is the author of Everyday Divine: A Catholic Guide to Active Spirituality and several other books on Catholic spirituality. A columnist, blogger, and public speaker, she writes regularly

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