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Turn to Jesus (Article)

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."

Priscilla Spratt testimony
Priscilla Spratt,
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.

With the 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 love.

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 upheaval.

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 trusting.

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 Canada
Priscilla Spratt



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Related links

Official web site of the Vatican.
Legionaries of Christ
For Your Vocation
Mater Ecclesaie College

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