Throughout the course of your spiritual life, there will be times when everything is smooth sailing. Your prayer life is fruitful, you’re avoiding sin, you’re loving your neighbor, and sharing the love of Christ with all around you. But there will be other times when you go through rough waters. Your prayer life is dry, you continue to fall into sin, you find it difficult to love those around you, and you don’t feel like a shining example of a good Christian.
Regular Morning Air® contributor Fr. James Kubicki recently shared some things you can turn to as spiritual lifelines during these times of trouble. Fr. Kubicki began by pointing out that these low points in your life aren’t always a bad thing.
“We all tend to be a little lazy and we want a nice, comfortable, easy ride through life” he said. “But it’s through those times of adversity where we are tested that we grow in various virtues, where we grow in faith and trust. And without that we really aren’t giving them an opportunity to grow, because we tend to get a little lazy and think everything’s fine. But it’s those times of adversity that call us to grow in the virtues and in our faith.”
“We have this ebb and flow, this up and down of life as a way, I think, to remind us that we’re not in control and we need every day to turn to God and ask Him to help us.”
Morning Air hosts John Harper and Glen Lewerenz took calls from listeners who shared times when they received a spiritual lifeline, and Fr. Kubicki offered some examples of lifelines to reach for when you are facing adversity in life.
Trust in the Mercy of God
St. Padre Pio said that whenever we’re feeling exasperated over our sins (not a good, holy sorrow, but where we get down on ourselves and start beating ourselves up or thinking that God could not be merciful enough to take away this sin) that’s the evil spirit speaking in our hearts. Whereas, the good spirit comes with peace and a recognition of our weakness, a truthfulness. But also love, which calls us to depend on God’s mercy and not on our own, as it were, getting it right.
Remember It’s Not All Up to You
We can get into this kind of a mindset where we think, ‘OK, if I were really good, or holy, or perfect I would do such-and-such.’ And we keep adding devotions or doing things that kind of get us off balance, or get us thinking that it’s all up to us, rather than a matter of God’s grace. We need to be able to discern and recognize the presence and the strategies of the evil spirit to try to get us off balance, trusting in ourselves rather than in God.
Keep Your Eye on the Goal
Ultimately the hope that we have is our hope in heaven. That’s our goal and whatever path it takes to get there, that’s our ultimate goal. So that I think is great advice when people are feeling down or upset, to say to themselves, ‘You know, this too shall pass. And my main goal is still there, which is to get to heaven. And maybe this is going to help me on that journey. In some strange way, God will use this to bring me to my journey’s end, my goal, which is heaven.’
The word patience, it means basically suffering. And it means enduring suffering. So one of the ways we can endure suffering is having that stronger hope. That this is difficult right now, but in the big picture maybe God will somehow use this to bring me to my ultimate goal, which is heaven.
Listen to the full conversation with Fr. Kubicki and hear stories of spiritual lifelines that listeners have received in the audio below: