Today’s opening prayers entreat God to “save the one who trusts in you” and ask that we might “love what you command and desire what you promise.” I certainly hear myself  in that plea for grace and salvation on the path to true gladness. This is the core reality and the responsibility of my life in faith with God.

Yet my faith also demands I ever be prepared, awake and aware, as I desire to live in the presence of God. Sometimes, I am challenged to remember that to love and live in the ways of the Lord is not easy, or may not make sense. Yet, I have chosen this path and God has chosen me. My faith is a life-long balance to share the gladness, live in the presence and accept the responsibility of my relationship with God. My true gladness comes from living in this choice.

—Mary Burke-Petersonis a parishioner at St. Nicholas Church, Evanston, an active volunteer in the Ignatian Spirituality Project, and a graduate student at Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola University.