The day after Ascension Thursday, the apostles, and My Mary, the Blessed Mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, began praying the first ever novena. A novena is a nine day prayer usually said, in hopes of receiving some grace or an answer to some prayer.
After the trauma of Christ’s Crucifixion and the amazing high the Apostles must have felt upon seeing Him alive again, I always assumed having Him ascend to Heaven would have left them feeling much like they did after the Crucifixion. I pictured them huddled there in the upper room scared, abandoned, unsure of what to do next.
I’m now thinking I should have given these MEN and My Mary more credit. Yesterday, I learned of Ascension Thursday being like Catholic D-Day. Jesus’ Ascension showed the Lord entrusting His Beloved Church and the mission of spreading the Word of God to the world. It was the day that gave Christ’s Warriors the battle plan.
I don’t know any soldier who cowers and hides before the battle begins. There are deserters of course, but the MEN who protect and defend our great and beautiful nation, do not cower and hide. They may feel apprehension and anxiety. They may worry about loved ones they’re leaving behind. They may feel fear and uncertainty, but they push past this to do what is entrusted to them. They prepare through rituals often involving checking equipment, talking to family, and blasting loud music.
If those given orders by commanding officers do all this, why would I assume those given orders by Christ would do any less?
Upon hearing of the Pentecost Novena, I assumed the prayer was said in fear and concern for their own lives and the lives of their families. I’d thought the Apostles prayed in fear, but I was corrected twice by people who don’t know what I was thinking or that I’d needed to hear their words.
The first was by Father I who is leading a Bible study at a local Church. He said the Apostles prayed in expectation that God would give them the ability to do what He called them to do. The second was an article on the Pentecost Novena that said the Apostles prayed in anticipation.
What a difference from how I’d assumed the state of their prayer would be! How much this says about the state of my prayers and how much I trust in the Lord!
To Live, Not Ordinary, I must change my state of my, not through big sweeping changes, but through the use of one different word in each difficult scenario. It’s not that the Apostles weren’t afraid. It’s that they were afraid and expectant It’s not that they weren’t uncertain. It’s that they were uncertain and anticipatory.
When given two emotions, why let fear, or any negative emotion, win?
I need to choose differently. I begin to do that through simple word choice changes.
“I hate my job” becomes “I am challenged by my job.” This stiffens the spine and helps you want to dig in for the win.
”My kids don’t listen to me,” becomes “My kids listen to other things.” This opens curiosity and helps you discover what they listen to and what influences they have on them.
”I’m so fat,” becomes, “I’m so undisciplined.” This takes the focus off fat and puts in on discipline which is often the root of a problem and something I can grow.
“God if You Loved me, You should have…” becomes, “God because You Love me, You allowed…” This changes your condemnation of your Savior to gratitude for lessons learned through suffering and struggle.
I said earlier that I should have given the Apostles and My Mary more credit. I should have, but the person I should have given the most credit to is Jesus. He knew what He was doing when He chose His followers. He knew the perfect time to die, to ride again, and to Ascend into Heaven.
Jesus worked with His Beloved and imperfect people. He gave them no pass for their fear of inadequacies but entrusted them to change the world.
Why would we assume He’d entrust us with any less?
The Apostles didn’t let fear win. They prayed in expectation and anticipation. Prayer was part of their pre-battle ritual.
How do you pray? Is it in fear or anticipation? Do you have rituals that help you face your battles? Do you realize the battle your in? What’s the one word you most need to change to move forward with the Commision you’ve been given?
Gratitude Journal – May 19, 2023
Thank You Lord, for…
- Grandpa, who passed away on this day in 2017 and our hope of being reunited with him and our loved ones in paradise one day.
- the family Grandpa gave us.
- getting the post written
- talk to text.
- C’s hit.
- Z being there and making me laugh.
- Dinner with Meema.
- Getting caught up on most paperwork.
- Father I’d Bible talk.
- Understand the power of one word -“anticipation.
- Talkikg with B and L tonight.