(CNS illustration | Tyler Orsburn)
By Effie Caldarola | Catholic News Service
Sometimes the morning fog seems the perfect metaphor for my inability to see where you are calling me. How, through the mist and shadow, do I overcome my confusion and feel the peace that comes with a sense that my discernment is leading me to the right decision?
I believe I desire to follow your will in my life, Lord, but often I’m afraid.
Am I really willing to follow where you lead? What if your desire takes me out of my comfort zone, my safe place, my security? What lies there, behind the fog that masks the road ahead?
I pray first of all for trust, trust in you, which Scripture offers over and over in many ways and by so many descriptions. Help me to see that you are holding me in the palm of your hand, that your plans for me are for good, that you are constantly by my side, that you are my rock and my fortress.
I pray that I might have the desire to follow your will and the courage to look honestly at myself and my fears. I pray that you might help me find the quiet, the silence, the solitary space, where I will listen to you and hear your voice.
I ask that you shield me from the temptation to procrastinate, that you help me overcome the pitfall of avoidance. Guard me from laziness and from taking the easy path of self-indulgence rather than the harder task of self-reflection.
Guide me to seek out the right person, or community, who might listen prayerfully to my inner fears, my desires, my lists of pros and cons, and help me as I stumble through the uncertain path ahead. Help me to do this with honesty. Help me to open my heart in prayer to the saints and angels who stand ready to help me.
Help me to understand the paradox of the brevity of life and the need to make decisions, while also understanding that God works slowly in God’s own time. Help me to find God’s rhythm in this search, to feel comfort in the knowledge that God is not running ahead but walking beside me.
Guide me not to make a decision in the midst of a period of desolation. Help me to be decisive in those moments when God’s consolation is clear in my heart.
Let me take time to reflect, Lord, on your life and the path you followed as I discern my own life’s goals.
Help me to follow you as you lived a humble life, as you walked among the poor, as you welcomed strangers, lepers and outcasts. Help me to walk with you as you chose to remain faithful to your mission even as it led you to death.
I pray that my own life might mirror yours in integrity, humility, faithfulness, and that all my decisions may be rooted in my desire to live as you lived, Jesus, a life for others.
Caldarola is a freelance writer and a columnist for Catholic News Service.