I was praying Lauds a while ago when something struck me. The reading for Week IV Saturday is from 2 Peter:
What we await are new heavens and a new earth where, according to his promise, the justice of God will reside. So, beloved, while waiting for this, make every effort to be found without stain or defilement, and at peace in his sight. Consider that our Lord’s patience is directed toward salvation.
What really struck me was the final sentence: Consider that our Lord’s patience is directed toward salvation.
After about two years of working as a waitress, I finally quit for good in last July. My immediate goal was to spend time with my younger daughter before she left for college, but I also knew that I needed to move on to a different job. My spiritual life had been in shambles, and, honestly, working as a waitress was simply becoming an occasion of sin. I was spending so much time being angry at coworkers for not doing their jobs that I hardly recognized myself any more. I wasn’t consistent with morning prayer or evening prayer. My Rosaries weren’t consistent. Daily Mass? What’s that? All the things that my Lay Dominican life has that are supposed to strengthen my ties to the Church and my faith life were falling apart. I wasn’t making time for any of it, even when my schedule wasn’t the problem.
So I decided that I’d leave the waitressing job behind and look for something else after my daughter is away at college. While I still want to brush up on my ASL and get back into interpreting, I made the decision to apply at a bank as a teller. I was hired in October, and I’ve been enjoying working in an environment where people strive to do a good job at work every day.
In spite of my new job, I’ve been feeling so down about my lack of spiritual growth. Frankly, I’ve been down about my spiritual decline. Inconsistency is breeding a desert-dry spiritual life where I hardly feel anything when I pray. And I’m still struggling many days to do the bare minimum.
I spoke to my priest about this when I was in Confession last month. He suggested that I pray to the Holy Spirit to give me the fervor I once felt for my faith, and when I’m really feeling down, I do so. I am trusting God that pushing through when I’m feeling so bleak means something.
And that’s where this verse is helpful. Consider that our Lord’s patience is directed toward salvation. God is patient with us because He desires our salvation. And my prayers and spiritual work as a Lay Dominican are oriented towards my salvation.
This isn’t to say that I should test God’s patience, but I can find comfort in the idea that if I’m struggling in my prayer life the Lord sees merit in my efforts – no matter how poor those efforts are.
Holy Spirit, help me regain the fervor of my spiritual life that I once had. Inspire me to see Your working in my life. Set my heart ablaze for love of the Blessed Trinity, and allow that fire to inspire me to live a life of faith that inspires others to know You better. Amen,