It appears to me that each generation has had its own particular issues of frustration. It may seem like technology is running roughshod over our lives today, but is it not also pretty amazing at the things we can do? The modern conveniences we enjoy are numerous. However, if we end up being held hostage by them we are in serious trouble. As the saying goes, “Do we own things, or do the things own us?”
This past weekend at the retreat I was reminded of how many things I take for granted on a daily basis. Waking up in the middle of the night and needing to go to the bathroom is typically not a big deal. At home we have a bathroom located in our bedroom. On the retreat I had to leave the bunkhouse to go to a centralized bathroom and shower facility. Yes, I was walking outside down a path at 8,400 feet not knowing what types of creatures were in the trees around me. It also was down to 43 degrees as well. Although the restroom facilities were nice and well-maintained, walking through the forest to get there was a reminder of the luxury of indoor plumbing—especially when that plumbing is in the same building where you are sleeping. After making that trip outside through the brisk night air, there was no going back to sleep. I was plenty early to watch the sunrise.
So why is it that we frequently lack peace and tranquility in our lives when many of us enjoy fairly comfortable lifestyles? Have we allowed the cares of the world to consume us? Have we created a lifestyle that induces stress because we are living so close to the edge of financial ruin? Are our relationships with family members strained for one reason or another? Are we holding on to unforgiveness? Have we dabbled in “New Age” spirituality or occult practices? Are we holding on to our “favorite” and habitual sins? Basically, what are the obstacles present in our lives keeping us from progressing in our spiritual journey?
The Sacrament of Baptism liberates us from sin and configures us to Christ. The shackles of bondage have been removed and we are free. We are no longer walking in darkness; we are children of the Light. The question is, “Have we subsequently rejected the Light?” My encouragement to you today is to open yourself to the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God and the power of the Holy Spirit. Be set free from sin and united to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
In order to move forward in our spiritual endeavors we are called to be people of prayer. We also would benefit from being very specific prayer in our prayer. After a thorough examination of conscience can we clearly discern the areas of our life where detrimental obstacles reside? I encourage you to pray very specifically to be set free from these shackles. Seek forgiveness. Seek healing. Seek courage. Seek strength. Seek perseverance. Pray in hope, for hope will not disappoint.