The fifth step in prayer is Freedom. “Speak with God about how he is inviting you to change your life, so that you can experience the freedom to be the best version of yourself.” For many Catholics like Sheryl as she spoke last Sunday we can talk about having a basic faith. Raised Catholic in some faith community in the world, locally or internationally, hearing about our Baptism, recalling our experience of First Communion and Confirmation, even getting married in the church. We claim we are Catholics. Along the way, people appreciate their faith, try to live it and come to the Eucharist as often as they can,
sometimes not every Sunday. It is an experience of faith that is steady, even, sometimes just ordinary.
Through ARISE, small faith sharing groups or even a retreat there may be a moment when we, like Saint Paul and some of the saints have a profound experience of God’s unending, abiding love for us. The circumstances vary from person to person, but in the end, we may have that moment when we truly experience God’s presence in love.
Many years ago, on a directed retreat, I took a walk on the baylands trails listening to some music. One of the songs was “Song of the Body of Christ” and the refrain goes “We come to share our story, we come to break the bread, we come to know our rising from the dead.” In the lyrics and the music I had a moment of feeling so loved, that it moved me to dance out on that bay lands trail. I don’t know if anyone saw me, but they probably had strange thoughts about this individual dancing by himself. It was a moment of freedom and great almost indescribable joy that I will never forget.
When we discover God in these moments of love and mercy, there is a new sense of freedom, that God has a good plan in store for us, to live, share and proclaim our faith. With that freedom comes the ever increasing possibility to be the best version of ourselves.
Next week, the sixth step in prayer, Others: “Lift up to God anyone you feel called to pray for today, asking God to bless and guide them”. Blessings, Father Larry Hendel