In all of our lives there are unexpected challenges. If we practice regular prayer we will be much better able to respond in a way that makes us better persons. If we pray on a daily basis we will instinctively meet life's opportunities and crises with the only question that really matters: Lord, what would you have me be and do?
Becoming a better person is not simply a matter of not indulging our moral faults. It is a new way of life, a new way of thinking and feeling that brings joy into our lives. Our spiritual awakening may begin in a spectacular way as it did for St. Paul. More commonly, even the beginning is gradual. The full awakening is always gradual. It is an awakening that comes about precisely because we put into practice all that we have learned about following Jesus. There can be no short-cuts to spiritual awakening.
Your joy, Lord, is not merely a reward for being faithful to you. It is necessary for me if I am to continue to do what I need to do to remain faithful. Help me to put into daily practice all that you have taught me till, in you, I come to the fullness of what I can be.