Don’t be afraid to say yes!

If you read the last post about having great expectations with God, perhaps thoughts crossed your mind about whether miracles could really happen in your life. “Sure, miracles can happen anywhere,” you might say, “but am I good enough? Are my demands and needs serious enough? Would God really listen to me and hear my needs?”

St. Francis Xavier was a hot-headed, all-star athlete, as well as a nobleman with his own valet and horse. He had ambitions to be successful—in the academic world, or even in the Church. He was well-regarded among his friends and acquaintances. He prayed and was dutiful to his faith. By all counts, Francis had it made. And when St. Ignatius of Loyola entered his life and proposed a more radical way of living, St. Francis Xavier resented it.

There is a big difference between merely following along with Catholic rituals and actively living the fullness of the Catholic faith. The first is a list of expectations: pray, go to Mass on Sunday and to confession once a year. It’s checking off boxes of what we think living as a Catholic means… and then moving on with a busy life.

But what about the other way? Actively living in the fullness of Catholicism is to dramatically and completely give our lives over to Christ. This radicalness is rooted in letting go of self-reliance and embracing humility. When we give ourselves over completely to Christ, we open our hearts and whole lives to the gifts, miracles, healings and joy Jesus wants to give us.

St. Ignatius was a man who was determined to embrace and live the faith fully: with Christ at the centre of his life. Though he was also a noble by birth, Ignatius had given up the privilege of titles and adornments. He even begged for money on the streets! It’s not hard to imagine Francis asking Ignatius: “You had great dreams and a great life. Why on earth would you give up all of that?” Amazingly Ignatius would have answered, “Because they were not great enough.”

Perhaps your dreams, your hopes, your desires are not good enough—because they are not great enough.

What great things is God asking of us that we feel afraid to accept? That we don’t feel worthy to ask for? That we feel like we don’t deserve? Bring these to Jesus. Ask for St. Francis Xavier’s intercession to help you overcome fear and open your life to the great plans and miracles God wants to give you and work through you.

Here’s a challenge: find your great expectations without fear. St. Ignatius won over St. Francis with a holy stubbornness, insisting that God’s plans for us are always greater than what we can imagine for ourselves. And as a result, St. Francis Xavier changed the course of Catholicism and Christianity forever. We, too, can change the course of history—for Canada and the whole world.

Be not afraid!

In the Old Testament, God affirms us, “For surely I know the plans that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope” (Jeremiah 29:11).

And in the New Testament, St. John tells us that “God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.” (1 John 4:7).

God loves us so deeply, and wants to give us happiness, joy and hope beyond all our comprehension. “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10).

God loves you so much He sent his only son to die for you, so you may have eternal life with Him. If we want to have our life irrevocably changed, we need to say ‘Yes’ to Jesus’ invitation to accept the incredible love that He has for us.

That’s it.

The only thing we need to do to receive all the happiness, miracles and love God wants to rain down on us is to say ‘yes’ to Him.

If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great. No! Only in this friendship are the doors of life opened wide. Only in this friendship is the great potential of human existence truly revealed. Only in this friendship do we experience beauty and liberation. And so, today, with great strength and great conviction, on the basis of long personal experience of life, I say to you, dear young people: Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life.”
—Pope Benedict XVI, Mass for the Inauguration of his Pontificate

If you don’t feel you can say yes to God right now, that you aren’t ready to trust Him, don’t worry. Be not afraid! If any part of you is interested in seeing if there is any truth to this—that God could love you personally and have great plans for you—simply ask St. Francis Xavier to help you see the truth. If you want be bold and really get to the heart of the issue, ask him to help you encounter Jesus simply and clearly.

If you want to say ‘Yes’ to Jesus, and invite him into your heart, ask St. Francis Xavier to open your heart to the love the Father has for us, and to experience it in such a profound way all doubts, fears or worries are burned away. If you are ready to dive right into a future with hope, invite St. Francis Xavier to help you pray the following prayer:

Lord Jesus, I believe that you know me and love me.
I have not always chosen to love you, and have broken my
relationship with you through my sins.
Thank you for proving your love for me on the cross so that our
relationship can be restored.
I open the door of my heart and I invite you to be at the centre
of my life – to be my Saviour and my Lord.
Direct me and help me to live the Gospel
with my whole life.
God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit,
and forgiven our sins.
May he also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ
for ever and ever. Amen.

Did you know St. Francis Xavier only spent ten years in active ministry as a missionary through Asia? Within ten years he baptized tens of thousands, performed healings and raised people from the dead. All that in just TEN YEARS! Don’t be afraid. We know great things happen when we give Jesus our Yes and open our lives to what he wants to accomplish through us.

What can God do through you in ten years?

Are your dreams great enough?

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