My path to victory started almost six years ago with my Consecration to Divine Mercy. I recently completed another self-directed retreat called “A Total Consecration to the Father Through Jesus Based on the Gospel of John,” which was aided by another book written by Fr. Michael Gaitley.
Through this retreat, I more deeply realized that as baptized Christians we can each hear God the Father proclaim to us this amazing truth: “You are my beloved son/daughter in whom I am well pleased!”
But how often do we believe this to be true?
In Exodus, we read about the Israelites’ lack of faith when God invited them into the land of “milk and honey.” The consequence of this lack of faith? Another 40 years wandering in the desert.
I know when I was stuck in the cesspool of pornography and masturbation, I saw myself as innately flawed and hopelessly doomed. I couldn’t hear or believe that I was one of God’s beloved children. Like the Israelites, I lacked faith in His promise.
The story from Exodus can be contrasted with one where Jesus seemingly rebuffs a Canaanite woman’s request to heal her daughter. Jesus initially responds that it is not right to share the riches of the chosen people with “dogs.” But the woman responds that even the dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall off the table and onto the floor. Jesus, in response to her incredible faith, heals her child that very hour.
As I pondered these two examples from Scripture, I noticed that despite God revealing himself to the Israelites through miraculous means (parting the Red Sea, etc.) His power and omnipresence were quickly forgotten. How often do I also doubt, despite the many blessings I’ve been given by God?
But as we learn in the Our Father, it’s by calling to mind God’s blessings that helps us remember His love for us. Still, I often fall into the trap of seeing folks who have “more” than me and wondering “why not me?” It takes grace and effort to focus on seeing God’s provision daily, to thank Him for His unfailing love and desire for us to experience the Kingdom of God now—“on earth as it is in heaven!”
Contrast the attitude of doubt that we see with the Israelites with that of the Canaanite woman. She did not even bring her daughter with her to Jesus and yet, like the centurion soldier in another Scripture passage, completely trusted in the power of Jesus’s words alone.
I spend time in God’s Word daily, but I often question whether it will transform me into the man I’m called to be because I see how limited and flawed I am. However, the Canaanite woman understood her limited condition (she referred to herself as a “dog”) but was still confident that Jesus had the power to make her daughter whole. She still believed that God loved her and wanted to fulfill her desires.
I learned during my Consecration to Divine Mercy that the origin of all sin is a lack of trust in God’s goodness and His desire to make us whole. And I learned through my Consecration to the Father that the joy that each of us seeks can only be found by trusting that in Christ we are truly God’s beloved sons and daughters—and that He wants to give us abundant life!
At Mass, we are invited to bring our entire being to the Father. When we offer God everything we have before the consecrated Body and Blood of Christ—our joys, pains, regrets, doubts, accomplishments, and fears—we receive in return the immeasurable grace of truly and actually receiving Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. And what greater sign of God’s love for us as His beloved children is there than Him giving us His very own self?
Jim Gorski is a 58-year-old father of four children who has been married to the same woman for 36 years. He completed his master’s degree in social work in 1984 and has directed church music groups for the past 41 years. He remains a grateful child of the most high God and strives to trust in God’s loving mercy and His ability to provide for Jim’s every need.