Reflection for the 2018 WNY Men’s Conference

“Fight the Good Fight”

People will often come and talk to me about the things that are going on in their lives and the things they share are usually something unhappy; something not going well. There is so much pain around that I decided to keep a book with all of the needs of people that I’ve been asked to pray for. I love that little book and I include it in my daily prayers.

But whenever someone comes to me asking for a personal prayer, it’s very common for me to hear they don’t know what God wants of them; what’s their purpose in life? Well, if it’s any consolation, I have the same questions. Just because I’m a Deacon, God hasn’t given me any real great insight into what He wants me to do; what’s my purpose?

Isaiah 49, begins with “The LORD said to me: you are my servant, Israel, through whom I show my glory.” We respond, “Here am I Lord; I come to do your will.” Saint Paul’s first letter to the people of Corinth tells us, “…you who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be holy.” And in the Gospel of John Ch 1, John the Baptist testifies, “Now I have seen and testified that He is the Son of God.”

It all seems so easy, a 4 part plan for life:

  • 1. We are His servants through whom He will show His glory
  • 2. Here we are Lord; we come to do your will
  • 3. We have been sanctified to do His will
  • 4. We have seen and now testify that He is the Son of God

Yeah right God! How can I see your glory when I’ve got bills to pay and don’t have enough money? How can I do your will while the kids are screaming and the house is a mess? How can I be sanctified when my wife and I are arguing? How can I testify when I’m thinking about all the problems I have to deal with? How can I “Fight the Good Fight?”

I was driving this morning with my mind wandering, thinking about all things that were going on; worrying about stuff when all of a sudden, I glanced at the clouds and the sun trying to break through them and was awestruck by the simple beauty of some clouds and the sun. And it dawned on me that such beauty in nature cannot be just circumstance, it cannot be by chance; there must be a divine creator’s hand in such beauty. My heart was suddenly filled with peace and joy and I knew that God would be with me this day. I didn’t know how, but I did know that God was walking with me.

Suddenly my purpose, my reason for being became clear: today, I was to be a seed planter. God would nurture those seeds, He would water and care for them, and eventually, He would harvest them. But, today, He wanted me to plant them. He wanted me to bring His love, His peace, and His joy to someone today. He wanted me to “Fight the Good Fight.” No, I didn’t beat anyone up; I didn’t get into an argument with anyone; I didn’t even throw a dirty look at someone who was rude to me. I just tried to plant the seeds of God’s love. I tried to “Fight the Good Fight.” I tried. And I think that’s all God wanted from me today.

My grander purpose in life? Why am I here? Still haven’t figured that one out yet but, I think I’ll be OK by planting seeds every day until God leads me to do something else. I think I’ll just keep trying to “Fight the Good Fight.”

Go find yourself a sunrise. Go listen to the wind as it whispers through the trees. Go hug someone very old and someone very young. God is there in every one of our little moments throughout the day. We just need to take a minute to realize that. When we do, then we can be sure that He will walk with us and grant us His peace, love, and joy. He will help us to “Fight the Good Fight.”

Deacon Mike Ficorilli
St. Andrew’s RC Church, Tonawanda, NY
WNY Catholic Men’s Fellowship