Following Christ is a life choice whether we are single, married or religious. I’ve been following Him since I was small. I grew and orientated myself to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. I am influenced by my family’s beliefs, some particular devotions and practices that help to mould me as a Christian, one of Christ’s followers. The environment in which I belong has strong religious practices that lead me to understand God’s existence. My life’s orientation impacts my growing love of God, my knowledge that God is love and that He passionately loves us, His people. From then I decided to follow Him totally in the religious life, in the congregation of the Daughters of Divine Zeal founded by St. Annibale Maria Di Francia.
Knowing God in my life is about finding Him as the greatest treasure in my life. It keeps me renewing my commitment each day. Yes, there are ups and down in my faith journey. It is a rollercoaster where I have experienced struggle, wrestling with daily challenges, all the while continuing to believe in His abiding presence. There have been so many times where He has given me strength for my weakened faith.
God is the greatest treasured one who I have found and journeyed with in this life. In Him I draw my strength. Keeping this faith is a commitment and a choice to continue believing that He is the greatest and most desired treasure above all other treasured things. This is what my heart deeply feels. Some of us have drawn closer to Him and want to be even closer each day. God gives us the freedom to choose in life. He want us to be happy. For me, what I am now, choosing Him makes my life completely happy. I feel content and fulfilled in the life I have chosen, responding to His call.
Jesus addressed to His apostles and also to us:
No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. (Luke 16:13)
It is between God and worldly things then. Which choice is closest to our heart? Which would be prioritized, the most important, in our life?
It is our free will to choose God above all other things here on earth. Many have testified about the effects of choosing God and following Him. They can help us draw our inspiration from God because through their life example, they simply touch our heart and can change our life. They, too, have struggled in their following of Christ. They renounced many things that were not the essentials in life as they found that these hindered their following God as their priority. They are like us but what makes them different from us is their total commitment, greater focus and passion in their doing all that is good through their love of Christ. Everything is possible through God’s grace – and God is so generous in giving His grace. They are our great models in living in the life of God where He is the treasure and the joy of our heart. These are the people who are faithful to His teaching. Some are proclaimed saints by the Church and others are ordinary people who live their life believing in God, no matter to what state of life they belong: single, married or religious life. They live concretely with the life of God. They are the happiest people and the richest people because of God’s presence. They possess God in their heart as the most treasured one. God is their life. We observe how happy they are with God.
I look at St. Annibale and Mother Nazarena both of whom I know their stories so close to my heart and how they started the institute to which I belong today. There are also other familiar holy people who have followed Christ and have lived concretely their journey of faith, hope, and love. They lived for God and with God. They lived simply and in everything they trusted in God’s Divine Providence. At the very beginning of the institute, particularly mentioning ours, they economically struggled for survival. But then God’s intervention provided everything for the growing institute. This shows God’s love and care for the ones who have left everything to follow Christ. Knowing God keeps us growing our love in our heart. His love is a gift to us all. We have to to be thankful for His wonderful gift of loving us first and to grow in His love each day. No one can take this away from within our heart. God’s love is the key that helps us to continue following Him.
How about you? Who or what do you treasure most of all? Make a heart check… What is in your heart that you desire the most? What things are you passionately drawn to, to keep getting closer and closer each day?