At the root of this problem is Pride. In essence what I was doing was saying to God, “I will choose where to receive grace and where to battle.” Sure I loved those homeless people but I wasn’t loving my neighbor who God was clearly sending to me to minister to. I would sleep on the floor for penance but I wouldn’t inconvenience myself in the slightest by changing my schedule to accommodate a friend.
God is constantly sending us opportunities for grace. Take every opportunity to grow in grace and virtue. Fight every temptation that comes along. Love every person put in your path.
Here are some thoughts to help you seize the moments of grace that God sends you:
- Ask God to reveal to you, clearly, those moments of grace He has sent to us.
- Love your neighbor first: Love and share with those people you come in contact with everyday. You don’t necessarily need to do foreign missions but you do need to minister to every person you come in contact with.
- Add “lost moments of grace” to your nightly examination of conscience: Ask God to show you those times you missed the chance to love or be patient or fight sin.
- Fight temptation in the moment: I often would let myself be overcome by temptation and then do penance later thinking I was winning the battle. Battles are won in the moment.