Living the Gospel – November 17, 2019

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“By Your Perseverance, You Will Secure Your Lives” Lk 21:19

We have all seen people who face very tough situations and somehow manage to do so with peace and joy. Perhaps it is the sickness of a spouse and we witness the healthier of the two show such love and care. Or perhaps it is a tense conversation that makes an individual very angry, but they remain calm in their speech. Maybe it is a person who loses their job and they decide to get more training and seek a new position. We wonder how they do that. So much depends on a person’s reaction to what has happened…. not to actually what happened. One way to have a positive reaction is to do the Welcoming Practice. This practice, or prayer, is a three step process. A very basic explanation is:

1)Focus – become aware of the experience (especially if it is negative,) and how your body is reacting (tight neck, stomach pain, headache, etc.) You can say to yourself “I am really angry about….my stomach is in knots.”

2) Welcome – accept your physical and emotional reaction to the difficult situation/physical pain. When you accept and mentally welcome the pain it loses its power over you. You can say to yourself “I welcome and accept the pain I feel.”

3) Let go of the sensation and thought. When we stop resisting the mental or physical discomfort it is easier to say: “I let this ___________ go and give it to You, God.”

In our Gospel reading today the disciples hear of wars, earthquakes, persecutions and horrible things that they might experience and yet Jesus says, “By your perseverance you will secure your lives,” which means not only our eternal life in the Kingdom of Heaven, but also our peace of mind here on earth. What does it mean to persevere in this manner? It involves making our faith a priority, and forming good habits that will see us through difficult times. Doing our best to live as His disciples will indeed prepare us for anything the future may hold, and He promises that we will never be forsaken or abandoned as long as we choose to place all our trust in Him. Try the Welcoming Practice and you just might discover that you have a more peaceful attitude and that you are able to reach out to others with more love and care. Much has been written explaining the process and value of the Welcoming Prayer. Do a google search and learn more!

Peg Orzel