Dear Parish Family,
As we read the book of Deuteronomy, we come across God’s invitation to listen to his voice. What exactly does listening to God mean? I think that if we correlate God’s invitation to listen to him with a particular situation in life, we will know what He meant by that invitation. As you might know by experience, there are times in which we need to make very important decisions. These decisions will bring big changes in our lives; and as we know, we do not feel comfortable with big changes.
But let’s think about it. If we want to be in a better place, in a better situation and in better conditions, then the time has come. We can name a few of those situations; considering married life, discerning the right career and college, moving to a new place, changing a job or planning retirement.
I personally had gone through a few of those decisions which came along with big changes. I was twenty four years old and the time had come to decide whether I would stay in my native country, Colombia, or if I should move to the United States and make my home there. At first there was uncertainty and anxiety. Why should I leave my family, my culture, my language and even the food which I am used to? On the other hand, I knew that if I moved, I would learn a new language and a new culture. I would have a great opportunity to study; I would possibly become a priest and live my ministry there.
When it comes to crucial decisions, there are three steps which I follow. First, I listen to and trust God; and by this I mean that I bring that decision to God in the context of prayer. Prayer, in this case, is an open and honest dialogue with God. I also give God the time to speak to my inner conscience. Second, I listen to and trust my mentors. We all have persons to whom we go for advice; if we don’t, we should. They want the best for us, and they will also be honest with us. Third, trust in yourself, trust in your capacities, and make that decision your own.
God bless you all.
Rev. Johnson Lopez
Father Lopez is Pastor of Saint Patrick Catholic Church in Rochelle, IL.