Life's Many LessonsOct 30, 2023
Life is one lesson after another!
One realization that I’ve had in midlife is that I still have so much more to learn and accomplish. Just when I think I’ve mastered something, a new challenge appears ready to be tackled. I see this most often in my faith life. As I come to know the Lord in a deeper and more intimate way, the bar is always being raised drawing me closer to him.
A recent reflection in the October Magnificat discusses the idea of “second conversion.” In the meditation, Fr. Haggerty shares the idea of this conversion from the perspective of Fr. Louis Lallemant who lived in the 1600s. He says,
“man must come to a point in life, sometime after a commitment to God is already firmly in place, in which he realizes that he has not yet fully offered his life to God. Despitewhat may be years of faithfulness in a vocation, a deeper offering still awaits the soul.”
The spiritual life is a journey towards holiness with the ultimate destination of Heaven.
Each time I think I’ve reached a summit of knowing the Lord in a more intimate way, I immediately see another mountain in the distance ready to be scaled so my love and knowledge of God expands. God’s love is so abundant and generous, he never tires of giving good gifts to his children who continuously seek to follow him. The Holy Spirit is like our personal GPS leading us closer and closer to the Father on our life’s journey as we tackle one lesson after another.
I recently recorded a podcast with Kimberly Hahn, where she shared her journey into the Catholic Church. Kimberly’s conversion happened a few years after her husband, Scott, became Catholic. I am always inspired by converts to the Catholic faith because their choice to join the church means they have decided to go all in and live their faith to the fullest. Kimberly and Scott Hahn are a perfect example of this! Kimberly’s story challenged me to take a deep look at my faith and to ask God to reveal the areas that I take for granted in my Catholic faith. What God showed me is that oftentimes I receive the Eucharist out of habit. There are lots of things that distract me as I walk down the aisle to the front of the church to receive the Body and Blood Jesus. God challenged me to focus on what was happening in that moment as the Body of Jesus enters my body.
This past Sunday, God helped to remove the distractions. My husband and I were sitting in the front row at Mass and Father unexpectedly gave us Communion as we were kneeling. I didn’t have to get up and face the distractions that always come from moving up and down the aisle. I was able to simply be present with the Blessed Sacrament within. When I fully focused on what was happening and the gift that I was receiving I was overcome with love, gratitude and joy. The Eucharist is the source and summit of my faith. This sacrament nurtures and edifies my soul for when I am out in the world. It strengthens me to be the light of Christ to everyone that I encounter. It encourages me to live my faith to the fullest so that I am prepared for each lesson that comes my way. Most importantly, I want to be fully present so I can savor every moment with the Lord.
Take a deep look at your faith and ask God to reveal to you an area that you take for granted.
Is there a lesson that God can use to help you grow in holiness?
Jennie is a Catholic speaker, Life Coach, Podcaster, Weekly Radio Show Host on Nashville Catholic Radio, and founder of Catholic Moms in the Middle. After 26 years of working in Catholic education, Jennie felt God calling her "to step out of the boat" to serve in a new way. In her new ministry as a Catholic Life Coach, she now equips and encourages middle-life moms to reconnect with who they are and their unique God-given purpose so they can MAGNIFY Christ in their corner of the world.