I was speaking to a friend recently about a course she went on. This course was training in Dowsing Rods – which I have zero understanding of.
I asked her to explain what the course was about and what she hoped to gain from it. And there stemmed a very spiritual conversation between two people with very different beliefs – and I loved it.
You see, I am quite sceptical about the whole healing process when it comes to cleansing energy, the power of crystals, and anything that doesn’t involve physical evidence, so people are very surprised when I talk about my faith and the power and strength that I get from God. I am a walking contradiction in that respect. I know that.
My friend went on to tell me that the course had people from “all walks of life”. Young, old, spiritual, Catholic, Islamic, and even a Scientologist. They were all brought together to experience this ancient practice and learn more about it. They all shared the same belief in the power, and it meant different things to each of them.
So lets bring this back to Catholicism and what it means to us. There are three things that I LOVE about being a Catholic:
- The sense of community and belonging
- Somewhere to go for help (in more ways than one)
- The continuous education (yes even a cradle Catholic like me, I still learn every day)
There are of course more things I love, but they are the ones that are most important to me, and they have been listed in order of importance.
In light of recent events in Manchester, I have seen many posts about requesting prayers, offering prayers, and also questioning why ANY God would allow something like this to happen in the first place. They are all valid.
We have all experienced things that have prompted us to ask God for help. These could be throw away comments, such as “Thank God they are OK”, or “God help them”, or “I pray that things work out for them”. Even in desperate times when we are looking for help we plead with God to help us. But what we EXPECT from God can be very different.
I had quite a difficult time at work recently, and whilst waiting for a client in the gym I Googled “prayers for strength”. I found some suitable ones and found a quiet spot to offer these up. I will share the one that stood out for me here:
Lord, you are Holy above all others, and all of the strength that I need is in your hands.
I am not asking, Lord, that you take this trial away. Instead, I simply ask that Your will be done in my life. Whatever that means, that is what I want.
But I admit that it’s hard, Lord.
Sometimes I feel like I can’t go on. The pain and the fear are too much for me, and I know that I don’t have the strength on my own to get through this.
I know that I can come to you, Jesus, and that you will hear my prayer. I know that it is not your intent to bring me to this point just to leave me in the wilderness alone.
Please, Lord, give me the strength that I need to face today. Don’t have to worry about tomorrow.
If you just give me the strength that I need today that is all I need.
Keep me from sinning during this trial. Instead, help me to keep my eyes on you. You are the Holy Lord, and all of my hope rests in you.
Thank you for hearing my prayer.
The reason this resonated so much with me is this: I have never expected God to help me by changing things, by changing people, or helping fate along. All I have asked him to do is to guide me and give me the strength to deal with whatever is thrown at me. After muttering this prayer a couple of times I slept well that night knowing that despite the troubled day ahead, the next day would be OK. That I had been filled with the strength and the guidance to know what to do. I was fine, of course. I knew I would be.
So I was telling my friend about this and she said that it was wonderful. That she also pulled upon the strength of healing and other ways (I know next to nothing about these by the way which is why I remain vague) to help her during testing times. So we both drew upon the strength of the power we trusted to help guide us, NOT change things.
And with everything else, we can apply this to the mindset of health and fitness. I will often have people coming to me in the hope that I will “transform” them. Which I can do, but only as much as they are willing to help themselves of course. A client asked a few days ago, what she would need to do to get MAXIMUM results. I told her to simply “LISTEN” (to me…).
You see often people come to me and by giving me money, they think they have found the answer. What is quite alien to some is that they don’t put the work in and still expect to get results. Look at the success of gyms and slimming groups up and down the country. If I had a £1 for every time someone had said to me they have a gym membership (and have had since January) that they never use, I would be very rich.
So you need to get out of these things what you put in. For me, I pray but realise that praying alone won’t help – I still need to go through and work out (with renewed strength) what needs doing.
Much like I tell people that exercise alone won’t help. You need to keep an eye on your food, sleep, and general activity – ALL the time.
What do you think?