Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Heroic Minute Challenge: Day 10: Offer it Up

Day 10 of the 14 Day "Heroic Minute" Challenge.  Have you mastered the Heroic Minute?  I surely have not, but I am learning so much during this challenge about myself, about the Lord and also about the value of struggling.

St. Josemarie Escriva offers us the following quote to highlight the approach we should take when faced with our own shortcomings and struggles:

In other words, we should live by the good old Catholic maxim and "offer it up".  What does that mean?

It's not all about us.  Taking up any sort of challenge, even Catholic ones - can result in excessive introspection and self-centeredness. Instead of helping us to grow, the challenge quickly slides into a running tally of our own successes (yay me!!!!) and failures (boo me...) .That entirely misses the point. By offering up our struggles (and our victories) for the intentions of others, we are able to focus our attention on the goal of helping others - a win-win situation, whether we have succeeded or failed.

There is growth in the struggle. This is one of my Spiritual Director's favorite sayings and I cringe everytime I hear it. I have learned, painfully and over an extended period of time, that he is quite correct. If we never struggled in anything, we would likely not grow either. People who are raised with the proverbial "silver spoon" in their mouth are notoriously unhappy. Nothing builds us up as much as a struggle which has been overcome!  As Catholics we have a unique opportunity to turn our struggles into immediate victories by offering them in prayer to the Lord for others. In this way, our struggles are never wasted, but instead, united to the Lord's sufferings, they themselves take on a supernatural value.

Quitting is not an option. When we adopt the practice of "offering up" our struggles for the intentions and salvation of others, it becomes very apparent that quitting is not an option. By viewing struggles and even outright failure as opportunities for prayer, we come to understand that every second of our life is valuable. In a world that dismisses anything less than perfection, we as Catholics have been given the great gift of turning imperfections into powerful instruments of the Lord's mercy and grace.  Does this mean that we don't try to overcome our struggles and failures? Of course not. We should work hard and pray hard to rid ourselves of our failures. In the meantime, we can offer them up for our family, friends, loved ones, and the poor souls who are lost and in need of salvation. When we experience the sweet taste of victory over them, we can likewise offer that in prayer as well!

Interested in taking the challenge? Click here to find out more information...

2 comments:

  1. Hi Debbie,
    I love the quote from St Josemarie Escriva. Love the whole concept of your blog actually! This is exactly what I strive for in my daily life. (Not saying I do a great job of it, mind you, but this is my aim :) Your blog expresses this daily challenge beautifully. Like you, I've noticed growth comes with the struggles and are blessings. (Though they certainly don't seem that way when I go through them...lol.)

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    1. Hi Mary - thanks so much for visiting! I loved your blog as well - it is so encouraging to meet people on the same journey! Great to share victories and struggles along the way! God bless you and your work!

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