Have you ever been convicted in the deepest part of your heart?
One definition of conviction is “being compelled to admit the truth.” On many occasions, the lives of the saints have left me deeply convicted of certain truths and practices in my faith journey. Their lives are a “how to” guide on reaching Heaven for us, so why should we look elsewhere?
I recently went on a half day retreat where the saints inspired me and left my heart burning with conviction.
The speaker was a well-known Catholic and convert, Dan Burke, and his raw and beautiful story of the intense suffering he has endured in his life and his journey home to the Catholic faith is one I would highly recommend seeking out and listening to. He addressed many aspects of the spiritual life, defining prayer and quoting many doctors of the Church, who he explained were given the title “doctor” because they wrote “for all people of all times.” What they said will never be outdated.
Their pleas and encouragement for mental prayer were undeniable.
St. Teresa of Avila said, “If you do not practice mental prayer, you do not need any devil to throw you into hell, you throw yourself in there on your own accord.” Similarly, nearly two centuries later, St. Alphonsos Liguori said, “Short of a miracle, the man who does not practice mental prayer will end up in mortal sin.” We cannot form the relationship with Christ we were created for without this non-negotiable sacred time with Him.
We are women of the Kingdom and are very busy. Yet, it’s imperative to commit to a time that we treat like any other appointment – for our hair, for a meeting, for a class – and this time is only for Our Lord. Set a “mental prayer alarm” for 15 minutes and talk to Him in the quiet. Meet Him in the Gospels. Tell Him everything. Ask for whatever you need. Beg graces from Him. Most importantly, listen to Him. What does He want of you? Where can you be better? How can you increase in virtue? Sit with Him in the same way you would with your spouse or family member or closest friend. He is all yours.
The saints have made it clear that Heaven depends on your efforts in this relationship. Be convicted today and get to know Him in prayer.