Perspective

For those who have lost perspective:

It is easy to lose our perspective, especially when we are going through a rough period in our lives. Small things become too important. We blame others for our own problems. We fail to see how we are ever going to get out of the situation.

St. Anthony had many disappointments in his life. He joined the Augustinians in Lisbon in the hope of finding a quiet, prayerful life. Yet, his family continually visited him, never leaving him in peace. He moved to a new community in Coimbra, but couldn't find peace there either because of the political dissension within the monastery. He joined the Franciscans, hoping to become a martyr for the faith, but when he went to Morocco to preach, he became too ill to preach the Gospel. He hoped for a quiet life of contemplation when he was stationed in a Franciscan hermitage, but only a short time later the friars sent him out on the road to preach against heresy.

But rather than seeing any of this as defeat, he saw it as another opportunity to do God's will. Rather than making him bitter, his disappointments taught him to be vulnerable and actually filled him with peace.

He was filled with so much peace, in fact, that toward the end of his life, he was seen to be holding the child Jesus in his arms. He was finally vulnerable enough to hold this vulnerable baby, God made man.

It is when we resent and envy that we lose perspective. But when we see everything as an opportunity to see God's will in what is happening, we find perspective (for we are viewing things through God's eyes).

Prayer for oneself:

St. Anthony,
I let everything get to me
and I can't seem to make heads or tails out of what is going on.
I find I don't know who to trust.
I don't know which way to turn.
You so peacefully surrendered to God's will
in the turbulent moments of your life.
Teach me to surrender.
Intercede for me to God
so that the Holy Spirit might fill me
with peace and perspective and hope.
Amen.

Prayer for others:

St. Anthony,
It seems as if __________ is letting everything get to him/her.
He/she can't seem to make heads or tails out of what is going on.
He/she doesn't seem to know who to trust
or which way to turn.
You so peacefully surrendered to God's will
in the turbulent moments of your life.
Teach _________ to surrender.
Intercede for him/her to God
so that the Holy Spirit might fill him/her
with peace and perspective and hope.
Amen.

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