We See 20/20 When Jesus is Our Prescription
Everyone with glasses or contacts understands the sensation of seeing leaves on trees after putting on glasses for the first time. Prescription lenses bring into sharp focus what was once amorphous and indistinct. In some ways, nothing has changed, but as all you nearsighted readers know, seeing leaves again changes everything.
In a similar way, when we encounter Jesus and, through grace, decide to turn aside from our “old” lives and begin to follow him, very little may change externally, but everything is different. Our relationships, desires, fears, hopes, joys, sufferings, vocations, money, time and our very selves look different when they are viewed through a relationship with Jesus. Pope Benedict described it this way in a general audience from Sept. 3, 2008:
In the ancient Church Baptism was also called “illumination”, because this Sacrament gives light; it truly makes one see. In Paul, what is pointed out theologically was also brought about physically: healed of his inner blindness, he sees clearly. Thus St. Paul was not transformed by a thought but by an event, by the irresistible presence of the Risen One whom subsequently he would never be able to doubt, so powerful had been the evidence of the event, of this encounter. It radically changed Paul's life in a fundamental way; in this sense one can and must speak of a conversion.
I love that definition of conversion. In a world with so much darkness and twisting truth, we see 20/20 when Jesus is our prescription.
Assuming many of us can relate to this real and life-changing Jesus-encounter described by Pope Benedict, then it’s fair to ask how to grow in deeper conversion. Here are three tips that have helped me.
- Keep getting your eyes checked. In other words, few things are more beneficial for maintaining God vision than frequent reception of the sacraments and a daily prayer time. Not an “occasional prayer time.” Not a “when I feel like it” prayer time, but a daily, dedicated, non-negotiable time connecting with Jesus.
- Ask for the faith to believe there is always more. We will never reach the end of God’s love, mercy and holiness. Our only limits are those we put on ourselves. If you don’t believe me ask the saints … in particular St. Catherine of Siena and St. Theresa of Ávila.
- Persevere! Keep coming back to Jesus. Keep asking for forgiveness. Keep battling temptation. Keep asking for more power. Don’t rest on your laurels; don’t think you’ve arrived. Keep fighting the good fight since we know ...
All of us will finish our race. Scripture says life is like a passing shadow, here today, gone tomorrow. We never know when we’ll be called home, and the soul who’s always striving for deeper conversion can expect to hear the most joyful words ever: “Well done, my good and faithful servant ... enter the joy of your master” (Mt 25:23), and enter into the beatific vision, seeing the face of God.