Brianna Casey, Senior Anchor Intern
I think a lot about God. I talk about Him a lot, too. But sometimes, I feel that I forget to spend enough time praying with God.
When it comes to ministry, I would say that my approach is primarily a relational one—I try to have conversations with people that may help them to see God in light of their own experiences, in terms that make sense to them. This comes pretty naturally thanks to my tendency to search for connections between everything, including seemingly opposing modes of belief. Similarly, the way I approach my faith is intensely holistic. I feel the need to be able to connect what I read in Scripture with what I’m learning in my biology and neuroscience classes, and to let what I learn from traveling and having conversations with others inspire my prayers.
Most of the time, this approach to faith and ministry proves itself to be extremely fulfilling. Guided by the belief that God is found anywhere there is truth, I have been able to find what connects me to others and what connects us all to Christ. Still, sometimes conversations and internal dialogue like this can leave me feeling mentally and spiritually drained. Inevitably, there are times when the constant questioning and casting my beliefs in new light in search of deeper truth will overwhelm me with how little I really understand. Oddly enough, sometimes my efforts to increase my faith will leave me with more questions and doubts than when I started. However, maybe these feelings are more related to how fatigue at the end of a workout is a precursor to growing stronger, rather than a sign of getting weaker.
Still, at times I think I make the mistake of doing too much talking about God and not enough praying. It makes sense that despite the time I spend learning about God, I can still feel distant if I fail to spend time with Him. The beautiful thing is that once I realize this, all it takes is to spend time with God to intentionally slow down, thank God for what He’s shown me, and ask Him to fill me with His peace. Whenever I am surprised by feelings of spiritual exhaustion, I try to determine if my prayer life has fallen short, and I renew my conviction to spend more time in intentional prayer.
This is also why the Eucharist has been so important in my journey with Christ. Coming to Mass and receiving the Eucharist makes me whole when I feel like I’ve been spread too thin, and centers me back on what is most important. The spiritual filling I’ve experienced through Mass serves as a reminder that, for me, it’s not enough to know about God; I need His presence in order to be refueled and renewed.
While one’s faith journey may be marked by a series of “landmarks”—significant moments of clarity and encounter with Christ that are easy to look back on as shaping one’s relationship with Him—I have learned that the small moments with God are no less important. It is for this reason that Mass and consistent prayer are essential for the active Christian life—for when we encounter Christ in this way, He offers us food to sustain us on our way, allowing us to continue His work on Earth and ensure that we always remain close to Him.