Allow me to quote you and then follow up with my thoughts.
#1: being in a particularly non-religious country isn’t doing a whole lot for my spiritual life.
--- I know the USA is a lot more religious than the UK, but outside the cocoon of a Newman Center and college life it can be very hard to keep a spiritual life. I have found that in this stage of my life, where I am not surrounded by good Catholics and a chapel, it can be very hard to love, trust and serve God. Suddenly my challenges are much more mundane - like not losing my temper or not using foul language - but they are also so much harder to do. Sometimes I feel myself resenting God for how hard the easy is.
#2 I spent a lot of time admiring God’s handiwork on the island and in people around me. I took time to think about where my life will take me and what I want to do for a career.
--- I am so glad you know how to do this already. It will make the rest of your life easier and more joyful. Keep up this practice so that it becomes a good habit.
#3 And, I realized...that I need to take time to spend with God.
--- Yes! Do this as much as you can now! Please! Some day you will have little children and attending daily Mass will seem like such a daunting task it will make you want to cry just to think about getting them there on time and keeping them in line during the 30 minutes. I give up before I even try.
#4 I know I have a lot of work to do and don’t expect... an immediate cure-all for my life, but... The hidden solution to everything: prayer—even when we don’t feel like it or can’t do it. It’s then that we find the greatest treasures of all.
--- This shows much maturity; which doesn't surprise me one bit.
I love you and miss you. I look forward to when you come back to EC.
Thank you so much. Your thoughts, challenges, and encouragements are definitely words I need to hear! I'm getting a good taste of life outside Newman and learning that reacting to and dealing with the seemingly small, everyday stuff in life can bring us just as close to God (if not closer) as spending time in a church. While we can only give from our overflowing and the Sacraments are such a necessity to leading holy lives, prayer and our interactions with others can and do happen outside the chapel.
Keri and I had a conversation earlier this summer about learning to pray no matter where we happen to be, even in situations far removed from a sanctuary. God is probably chuckling to himself as His plan is unfolding right before my eyes and he’s teaching me to pray in a dorm room or on a crowded tube ride. This whole concept of being able to find enough peace and focus on prayer anywhere is something I'm trying to put into practice, albeit with tons of distractions.
I’m so blessed to have friends who consistently lead me toward God. I admire you so much for being the down-to-earth, caring friend I need right now, all while carrying out the busy and sometimes stressful roles of wife and mother. You are truly a beautiful example of Christ in my life! Thank you!
Love you and miss you!
St. Therese of Lisieux, pray for us!