Catholic on purpose

little moments full of grace

An Act of Will and a Little Prayer

One huge aspect of becoming a saint is the necessity of exerting will, of persevering beyond comfort and feeling, and doing the thing you know you should do even though you don’t want to. We chase after sweetness and happiness, after the feel-good, warm fuzzies that often accompany knowing Jesus. We shrink away when it’s difficult or when we feel nothing. We give up the fight because it’s no longer easy or natural. But these are the precise moments we must push on because these are the moments that saints are made in.

One of the most comforting discoveries I’ve made about the saints is that they are and were human just like you and me. Not only did they make mistakes, but sometimes they just didn’t feel like showing up. They didn’t feel like praying or attending Mass. They didn’t feel like accepting God’s will and doing His work. They didn’t feel like suffering for the salvation of souls. But the difference between saints and me is that they did it anyway.

I’ve always wondered how they possibly kept going with the countless difficulties each one of them faced in their lives. I wondered where they found the energy to show up day in and day out, no matter what. There had to be some secret to their heroic skills in perseverance. And on Sunday as I complained endlessly about the chore it’s become to make it to Mass, I realized, once again, that our perseverance is a gift from God.

I shuffled through a million excuses – I’m too tired, I’m pregnant and nauseous, Cooper is too much for me to handle by myself in Church, and I just don’t feel like it. But behind these excuses was the deep-rooted truth that Mass was exactly what I needed. And though I did my best to fight it I knew I had to surrender. That’s when I realized the Saints faced the same thing and instead of fighting it, they prayed about it. With a small act of will I prayed, Lord, grant that I may desire it.

A year ago I would have succumbed to my excuses. Not only because that’s what I wanted to do, but because I thought it was rude to do things out of obligation, to show up to Mass out of guilt. I’ve learned that showing up in spite of how you feel is more pleasing to God than doing a million things that you feel like doing. The great kicker is with a little bit of grace you can do so joyfully. 

Those times you don’t feel like doing something are probably the moments you need it most. You’d be amazed what you can do with an act of will and a little prayer. 


One Reply to “An Act of Will and a Little Prayer”

  • It’s so true; saints were human just like we are. How is it that it is so easy to make excuses, but so rewarding to give in and do what we know is right. It often happens that the outcome is far more than we ever expected.

    I think you see things clearly, even when you might not think you do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *