Spending an hour with God enriches Ursuline teen

How is true happiness measured? As the world revolves around us every day, and the lives of others continue to change, many people still remain stagnant in their search for true and permanent happiness. Their lives continue as each day passes, but the temporary joys of life are sometimes not fulfilling. What is the solution?

As a junior attending Ursuline Academy and participating in the rigorous academic program, I often felt as if I had little to no time for God outside of school. Although I always attended Mass with my parents, I did not know what to say to God when I sat down to pray. Mass felt as if it was a routine that sometimes spoke to me and sometimes didn’t. With a strong religious background, I feared that I was not headed in the right direction in my prayer life. I soon realized that I was allowing my school work to overtake my prayer life.

This changed when I attended confession one day, and a priest put this thought into a completely different perspective. He advised me that it is better to spend one hour with God praying, rather than working for one hour on my homework. I was dumbfounded when I reflected on this statement and realized that it was completely true. I knew that this priest, whom I had never met before, planted the seed that would grow into my understanding of permanent happiness.

Overwhelmed with work one Thursday afternoon, I decided to attend the new Bible study class that the Ursuline Academy’s Peer Ministry club was offering. The Bible study was something that I had never experienced before. After a long and exhausting day, I was not expecting to receive any meaningful information about my prayer life. Undeniably, the Holy Spirit was certainly present in the room on that Thursday afternoon because the topic of the first Bible study was on none other than how to pray. Immediately, I knew that I was in the right place at the right time.

We then learned that we would be practicing a form of prayer called the Lectio Divina.

New theology teacher, Jessica Touchet, began the Bible study with a specific psalm that was meaningful to many in the group: Psalm 139. We prayed over the verses three times and spoke about how God was speaking to us through these verses.

As the verses flowed and resonated in our hearts, the verse of Psalm 139:16 spoke to me that said, “Your eyes foresaw my actions; in your book all are written down; my eyes were shaped, before one came to be.”

I learned that God has a plan for all of us, which is above our knowledge. Here, I found that the happiness that I felt could not be measured in any way, but it was a subtle hint that I was following the right path.

Marie Foret is a junior at Ursuline Academy in New Orleans.

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