Lord, Show Me The Way
It has been a long and exhausting exile. On the way full of disguise, temptations, noises, doubts, fear, setback, all kinds of pre-occupations, are we able to select the right path to walk in the footsteps of God?
I was privileged to participate in the retreat which could not have come at a more opportune moment. Prior to the retreat, I had been asking for God to shed light on my life, my decision, if only He knew that I have a call to His priestly vocation. The agony and suspense of waiting; the seeming silence after prayers; and the agitation of having no direction disheartened me. I thought it would be a great time to ask the Lord for an assertive and instant answer to all my prayers. He didn't. Instead, He knew what I need at this stage of my life.
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside still waters
He restores my soul
He leads me in right paths for His name's sake (Psalm 23:4-5)
I was unknowingly led by him to the side of fish pond. I looked into the pond at the fish. Nothing special at first glance. I sat down on the rock and took a closer look. The water in the pond was muddy, stagnant, contaminated, vague, brownish; fish are entrapped, ignorant - thinking that they have an ocean to their own.
Beside the fish pond there was a stream of water flowing freely. Crystal clear, smooth, rapid, pure, unattached, free and easy. It is Him who tries to show me the message that He wants me to understand.
I saw a clear division between the lives of the two different worlds. I have the freedom to choose. I had always failed Him. I couldn't resist anymore. I had nowhere to escape because He knows me. He who made me knows me entirely, my thoughts, speeches, actions.
"You shall be Holy, for Your Heavenly Father is Holy!" (1 Peter 1:16)
A thunder-like reminder struck my mind and my heart at once. I confess, I have always had struggles in attaining the virtue of chastity in my life. I had shades of darkness which I didn't want to be discovered by other people. I had peudo-shadow that had been haunting my heart from young age.
I will to live a clean life. I want a clean life free from the bondage of sins of the flesh. A clean life where detachment is so strong that nothing should own me. By this, allow me to recall and make some inspiring quotes from those great and holy men in the history:
"When you decide firmly to lead a clean life, chastity will not be a burden on you: it will be a crown of triumph". (St Josemaria Escriva)
"Purity prepares the soul for love, and love confirms the soul in purity." (John Henry Cardinal Newman)
What struck me indeed was not really on the message I received. I was more intrigued by the fact that God is real and living! As my Creator (Psalm 139) He knows me deeply, even if the struggles have never been revealed to anyone else (apart from the priests in the Sacrament of Reconciliation).
I give due appreciation to God our Father & Creator of the universe; I praise and worship almighty Lord Jesus in the form of Sacred Hosts in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar; I am grateful for the Holy Spirit who leads footsteps into the right path so that I would turn from crooked ways and never be astray.
After the encounter with the Lord at the fish pond, I went into prayers with the Scriptures. As I flipped the pages, a small piece of prayer card caught my attention. On the reverse it was clearly written,
<And let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, "out of the believer's heart shall flow rivers of living water. John 7:38>
And I silently prayed in my heart, "Lord, give me the living water for the salvation of my poor soul, so that I will never be thirsty again. Help me in times of temptations, grant me Your graces and strength to live through my life. May I always remember that "Blessed are the poor in hearts, for they shall see God". Amen."