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A spiritual book led Deanna Bartalini to consider the seemingly small ways God gives grace to us.

The other day I realized I needed a break. Most of you are nodding your heads now, because you too, need a break. My soul was adrift, in a sea of nothingness and disconnectedness. I was not okay. I went to our local Adoration chapel and spent the afternoon reading a book. Interior Freedom by Fr. Jacques Philippe was what I choose from my shelf. I am so glad I did.

I wrote many quotes from the book as to what struck me. And I cannot tell you which one was the best. I can tell you though, that I felt as if my life has been too small and unimportant and that greatness was not possible. Many days, my prayer to God is: what is Your will, what do You want me to do? And the small thing asked of me seemed too small and could not possibly be what God wanted from me. And so I kept asking and asking, much like a toddler who keeps asking for something as you are handing it over. Frustrating, isn’t it? I came to realize, that I might be frustrating God.

Let me tell you what Fr. Philippe has to say:

There is a defect here that needs to be recognized and avoided: finding ourselves in darkness about God’s will on an important question—a large-scale vocational choice or some other serious decision—we spend so much time searching and doubting or getting discouraged, that we neglect things that are God’s will for us every day—like being faithful to prayer, maintaining trust in God, loving the people around us here and now. Lacking answers about the future, we should prepare to receive them by living today to the full.


In other words, the answer is right in front of me. Do what needs to be done, now and stop thinking so far ahead that today’s work sits undone. Why is this important? For me, it’s because I pride myself on seeing the big picture, how things, people, and situations are connected and woven together and one change can cause another and another. This a good quality but it has been stopping me from doing what is in front of me. Maybe this happens to you as well. We get analysis paralysis.


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We cannot live in a constant state of doing and neglect the being part of us. #catholicmom

Of course, it’s possible that this is not your experience. What can you take away from my soul adrift problem? The solution, which is first and foremost, turn to God. He wants to give us contentment and joy and peace and answers, no matter what is happening in our life. And is going to a chapel for an entire afternoon and reading is not possible, find a way to be with Him at home. When the children nap, sit with Scripture instead of the laundry.


woman meditating under a large tree


We cannot live in a constant state of doing and neglect the being part of us. We will be far better people who love and serve God if we spend time with Him. Little pockets of time can help as much as big ones. God doesn’t give us grace in proportion to the time we spend with Him or prayers we say; the grace is there for the asking and often given in the most mundane, ordinary way. God will answer our questions.

And so, as Fr. Philippe says, live today to the full and answers will come for all your questions, even the ones you didn’t know you had!

Copyright 2022 Deanna Bartalini
Images: Canva Pro

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