“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
and my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
for he has looked upon his lowly servant….
The Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name….
He has shown the strength of his arm….
He has filled the hungry with good things….
He has come to the help of his servant….
for he remembered his promise of mercy….”
(from Luke 1:46-56)
During tough times — the lowest and hardest times of my life — Mary’s Magnificat has been my song, adapted as a prayer like so:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he who is mighty has done great things for me — and IS doing great things for me, and WILL do great things for me, and THROUGH me, for holy is his name!”
What motivates you to keep going during tough times? Is it fear or hope? Is it the belief (perhaps unconscious but it’s controlling your behaviors and moods) that the solution to the problem lies in your control and if you keep pushing forward you will finally reach what you seek? Or is it the belief that God is in control and will indeed show the strength of his arm — albeit in his own timing, which is very often later than we wish for?
Every day, in our sincerity to follow Christ, we need to make an honest examination of what our behaviors and moods indicate about our faith. Do you really and truly believe that God is holy and that he is merciful? Mary’s Magnificat describes two attributes of God that make everything else in it true and truly possible in my life and yours: He is holy and he is merciful. Yes, we believe that! So then why doesn’t our faith in God let us relax and rejoice while we wait for our prayers to be answered?
It’s because we have to choose to trust God. Trust is a decision, but we prefer to feel let down by God. It’s a whole lot easier to justify the many ways we let God down when we believe that God has let us down. The cure: First confess it, receive forgiveness, and choose to repent (which means choosing to change with the divine help of God). Next, live the faith consciously. Pay attention to what your behaviors and moods indicate about your trust in God; make it a habit to pause and pay attention! We overcome much when we realize what’s really going on inside of us, because, after all, we really do want to follow Christ and experience the strength of his arm. We really do want to be filled by God with good things. And God really does want to come to the help of his servant!
What motivates me to keep going during tough times?
I’m in a very scary place, facing the need to keep choosing to trust God day after day. On the one hand, I know what he’s calling me and my staff to do with Good News Ministries. On the other hand, we’re totally dependent on God working through benefactors to keep us funded. God provides for what God wants us to do, but he does it through people. Donors have to trust God, too.
So, the question then becomes….
What motivates me to keep working hard in this ministry?
- Making a difference in the lives of countless individual souls.
- Feeling excited about using tools that reach young adults and others who are not active in church life.
- Being God’s instrument to heal wounded hearts.
- Knowing that the inspirations I share often aid priests and deacons in their homilies.
- Reaching the hearts of criminals through my readers who have prison ministries.
- Providing Catholic materials to people in places where there is no Mass and Christians are persecuted.
- Giving you a word from the Holy Spirit exactly when you need it for doubts or sorrows or pain, and finding out that God has multiplied this to tens of thousands of his beloveds.
Now consider your own life. What motivates you to keep working hard, even during tough times? Is what you do connected to the Lord? Does it serve his purposes? Is he working through you? If he is, then he is showing you the strength of his arm. Keep going, not by your own power but by the Lord’s! Proclaim the greatness of the Lord.
© 2013 by Terry A. Modica
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