Memorial of Saint Mary Magdalene
John 20:1-2, 11-18
"The Lord Himself will fight for you. You have only to keep still." Exodus 14:14
Isn’t it hard to keep still?
It’s so much easier to pick up our arms and rush into battle. When we are faced with a problem, our minds usually take off immediately trying to figure out the best way to solve the problem, or to protect ourselves and fight the fight. We often feel compelled to act. . . we want to do something, or at least say something, rather than wait on God. Many of us have been taught that we must take care of ourselves, so it’s much harder to quiet our minds and seek the Lord’s wisdom before acting.
When you are falsely accused don’t you try to explain that you didn’t do it? I was recently told that I had done something during mass that I didn’t do. I immediately said, but I didn’t do that! When I shared the incident with my husband, he was able to show me how the other person could have misunderstood my actions and I was able to let it go. I am so quick to defend myself, rather than being still, taking it to the Lord in prayer and letting Him defend me if necessary.
The best way to wage any battle is to pray first. If we take the time to seek God; to sit in His presence and focus on who He is, we put some distance between ourselves and the problem. We open our hearts to God’s peace, and in that peace, we are better able to hear His still small voice. He can help us see the situation from His perspective and can then show us if we need to do anything.
So before you rush to defend yourself, take this scripture to heart and take some time to "be still". You can start with this reflection a priest shared one day:
"Be still and know that I am God."
"Be still and know that I am."
"Be still and know."
There is another scripture somewhere that says "The battle belongs to the Lord". May we always stop and pray first when facing problems and when necessary, let the Lord defend us.
Janice Carleton and her husband Jim live in Portland, OR and partner with Passionist Fr. Cedric Pisegna in Fr. Cedric Ministries. She is the mother of 4 grown children and grandmother of 6. Janice also leads women’s retreats and recently wrote her first book: God Speaks to Ordinary People – Like You and Me. Visit Janice’s website at www.janicecarleton.com or email her at [email protected].