READING (PRAYING) SCRIPTURE
With the reading (praying) of scripture, the grace of transformation, of conversion and of hope infiltrates our minds, bodies and souls. Reading (praying) the Bible is not a passive act, but an active seeking and finding of God’s Word. “If we do this without holding back, Christ’s words will enter deep into our soul and will really change us. For ‘the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of the soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart’ (Hebrews 4:12).” 
How powerful is the Bible! This is not a question but a statement. In my two years of conversion, I have fallen head over heals in love with it. Although it took me almost two years to read the New Testament, I did it and was extremely pleased with my accomplishment. That said, I felt this tugging at my heart suggesting that it is not a book to be read (prayed), as I had treated it, but one that is to be digested. I saw the words on the pages and read every one of them, day by day, however, I failed to study the words inspired by our God. I failed to grasp the power of Jesus’ parables and the fact that each author was lead by the Holy Spirit to put into words, the exact words, our Lord wished to share with us for eternity.
I decided to start all over and take a more faith filled approach to its contents. I re-committed myself to praying the words I read, as best I could. I prayed for strength and guidance in my ability to become closer to God in prayer and the study of scripture. By the Grace of God, I am truly committed to reading the New Testament with my eyes wide open. In fact, I have vowed to our Lord that I will read (pray) the New Testament over and over and over. It is all part of my journey in faith. To commit to His word through sacred scripture, reading (praying) His Word through the prophets and becoming one with His divinity. I offer prayers for each of you to do the same. To open your heart, mind and soul to the Bible and the glorious mysteries within it. It will bring you closer to God and will show you just how much He loves each and every one of us.
YOU ARE NOT THE MAN I MARRIED
‘A picture that was all light and no shade would not be a picture! So, misunderstandings and opposition have their usefulness.’ 
The words at first cut to the core of my heart. My first reaction was to defend myself and become combative. Then, just as quickly as my feathers became ruffled, the Holy Spirit filled my mouth with the words that I feel shared at that moment just how far I had come in my faith journey. I said ‘By the Grace of God, I am not the man you married, and that is a wonderful thing.’ No argument, no defensive slam or explosion, just a few simple words to sum up the fact that I, as well as she, was seeing a change. The challenge would be, and still is, to walk the path together, or at the very least, respect the fact that not everyone is ready to acknowledge, trust or accept me for who I have become, because of who I was for such a very long time.
I love my wife. I can honestly say that I can’t ever recall not loving her, but I do recall many times when I failed to honor and respect her. At work, I stress the importance of communication. I stress how vital it is to maintain open lines both up and down the chain of command, along with our client base and of course, outside representatives and vendors. I have held hours of corporate meetings beating my fist against the table imploring my teammates to acknowledge the value and necessity of communication. Still, communicating with my wife is one of the most challenging tasks for me to undertake. Not because she is not a good listener, but because I seem to internalize and withhold information far too often.
Why? For a man who believes strongly in communication and what it offers, I find it psychotically humorous that my mind does not place a priority on sharing with Lisa. Don’t get me wrong, reminding her of an appointment or something to do with the children does not seem to be a problem, Johnrally speaking. My poor communication skills tend to manifest within my daily thoughts, ideas, fears and aspirations.
I am a good communicator, however, a horrible judge of when communication is most important in my private life. I spend most of my day leading and making decisions based upon different forms of communication, thus, when I come home, the last thing I want to do is answer the phone, rehash my day or discuss something that ultimately I will have to address in another fourteen hours. This of course causes Lisa to internalize and withhold, reducing the amount of sharing time between us. As you can imagine, the results are horrible. Frustration spreads throughout our relationship in the most innocent of activities. Lisa has become extremely confused over my faith journey partially, I am certain, because I have failed to share with her from the beginning how important it is to me and how extremely eager I am to continue to walk along this path. I, on the other hand, find her stress filled days compounded by her extra curricular activities which, of course, takes her away from our family as well, but are her choice. Our schedules rarely, if ever coordinate with each other causing us to simply plod along our own path toward our common goal, the betterment of and the needs of our children.
I am not the man she married. I am striving for so much more in my life such as patience, tolerance, compassion, honesty and attentiveness. I find great peace throughout my conversion and want so very much to continue to be a better husband and father. I find my family more important to me than ever before, however, I fear that so much time away from each other has placed a significant wedge between Lisa and I that I am not sure can ever be removed short of the Holy Spirits intervention. I have tried to put into words why I have turned to Christ and what that decision has meant to me, however, in my failure to communicate proficiently, I get the sense that she just does not believe in me enough. To her, it is just another one of my spontaneous addictions that will surely end soon enough. She is cautious and weary of yet another passion of mine.
God will guide us. God, in His time will open both our eyes to each others love and devotion to Him and each other. The very same love He shared with us on our wedding day. I know our Lord will not forsake us nor will He allow our sacrament of marriage to be devoured by the prince of darkness. I can only turn to Him and place my fears, worries and frustrations at the foot of His cross. Just as He desires.
 Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace – Scott Hahn
 What is Opus Dei – Dominique le Tourneau