Meeting God on a Daily Basis
In the words of Pope John Paul II, "The Lord needs, and he has wished to need, your persons, your intelligence, your energy, your faith, your love, and your holiness."
Thank-you for the opportunity to share with you how I
met the Movement, and its influence on my life.
About 3 ½ years ago, Ave and I were living
at the lake with our beautiful family, then 5 young
children. We were wanting for nothing, our marriage was
solid, our relationships with family and friends rewarding. Yet,
for me there was something lacking which I could not
put my finger on, and which expressed itself in envy
for the situation of others and a lingering restlessness.
I also had a difficult time identifying where I wanted
to go in life, what goals I would strive for.
It was a surface kind of life that made
it difficult for me to reflect on deeper issues.
circumstances just right, I heard a tape of a woman
who loved the Lord passionately, and she described how she
came to that deep and real relationship through committed daily
prayer. I thought to myself, "I want that kind
of love for God." I said, "I love you,
Lord." I taught my children to say, "I love
God". But it all seemed like such an intellectual, dry
thing. For that matter, even my love for my family
seemed rather dutiful and surface. So I began to "make
an appointment with the King" and kept it every day,
praying all the while that God would show me the
And he did - in a powerful way that changed
me and the way I related to Him and those
around me. For the next year I met God
every day and grew in my love for him. Again,
with just the right circumstances - a well-spoken homily, a
sick friend - it became clear to me that our
Lord wanted much, much more than a lovely relationship with
me. He wanted my service. Armed with this
certainty, I began to pray impatiently for direction. One
Sunday, an acquaintance called saying that she thought of me
in her prayer, and that she believed that she had
something to share with me. She introduced me to the
Movement, with the information that a retreat would come, and
with it, the opportunity to discern with the Holy Spirit
the call to a vocation in this charism. She
showed me a description of the kind of person a
Movement member aspires to be - which did not describe
me at all - but I figured I´d at least
give it a chance.
I went to the retreat, and within
the first hour, Our Lord showed me some very painful
things about myself. I had conveniently forgotten that because of
rebellious decisions in my early twenties, in fact, I was
outside the Church, in a state of mortal sin, and
unable to receive the Grace of the sacraments. Before He
wanted my service, he needed my obedience, a very difficult
thing for a "cafeteria Catholic". The obstacles seemed insurmountable.
I was afraid of disturbing my outwardly harmonious relationships.
My immediate answer: "I can´t do that!, followed
by the instant thought, like the Gospel of John when
Christ asked his Apostles if they too would reject his
hard teachings on the Eucharist and leave Him, where would
I go? God had brought me this far, now
the cards were on the table and it was my
move. How could I say no? The remainder
of the retreat was very difficult. I was being
"pruned" in a dramatic way, and while I had hope
that all would work for good, I quit wearing mascara
by noon Saturday - it doesn´t mix well with emotional
God had a magnificent plan, and only needed my cooperation.
Within three days of my return home, Ave agreed
to have our marriage blessed in the Catholic Church, to
order our marital relationship to follow the teachings of the
Church, and he enrolled in RCIA - an initiation program
for adults seeking full communion with the Church. Never
would I have thought this possible. I had never
even entertained the idea that we would enjoy this unity
of faith. Talk about hope. I clearly understood
that if our Lord could secure the conversion and surrender
of two strong-willed people in three days, he surely could
secure the conversion of the Western world, and the rest
of the nations would follow.
Now, it must be
understood that God is much more patient with me that
I am with Him. I was learning so much
with the formation that the Movement offered and through its
apostolic initiatives, and spiritually, our commitments were allowing my relationship
with God and others to deepen. Admittedly, I was pretty
tough on my family, because I tried to drag them
along. But our loving Lord continued to work with
me, transforming me bit by bit. I figured He
had three years to work with some crude fisherman before
He built his Church on Peter, and commissioned the apostles.
He certainly would need that time with me.
My family is forgiving, and my team members, patient and
God is so creative - to put it mildly. Within
the heart of the Church, the Movement, inspired and called
by God to help re-christianize today´s world, finds hearts that
are generous, hearts that are aware of humanity´s cry in
search of everlasting values, and hearts that will respond to
Christ´s cry for apostles to save mankind.
In the words
of Pope John Paul II, "The Lord needs, and he
has wished to need, your persons, your intelligence, your energy,
your faith, your love, and your holiness. He wants
to speak to the people of today through your voice.
He wants to love with your heart. He
wants to help with your hands. He wants to save
through your efforts. Think about it carefully. The response
that many of you give is given personally to Christ,
who is calling you for these great things."
Today, we enjoy
depth and honesty in our marriage, exciting apostolic work, unity
in family prayer and formation, the Grace of the sacraments,
certainty of direction, and he offers us the promise of
eternal life if we want it. After all He has
done for me, how can my answer be, "No." Or
"Not yet, I´m busy." Or "It´s too hard".
Or "You certainly can´t mean me, I´m not a leader."
It can only be an unconditional "Here I am,
Lord, I come to do your will."
Testimonial from Edmonton, Alberta