One of my community chores is to do the weekly grocery shopping. I usually go to the same supermarket, and pretty much know where everything is. Other than noticing how the packages get smaller while the prices keep rising, I don’t often pay attention to other things—until recently. Lately I’ve found myself in the cereal aisle, or the bread aisle, or the [fill in the blank] aisle, and am overwhelmed by the choices. Anyone who knows me well knows that I like to have a choice. But fifty different kinds of cereal? Do we really need that many?

I don’t know about you, but the more choices I have, the more distracted I become. I lose my sense of balance and centeredness—and not just at the grocery store. It happens when I get lost surfing the web, or sort through the pile of half-read books next to my bed, or flip through the hundreds of channels available on TV. Choice overload deadens my spirit. It numbs my head and distracts my heart from my true desires which come from—and are fulfilled in—God alone. For young people discerning how God is calling them choice overload can be paralyzing.

What helps me refocus is to surrender all my choices and desires to God in prayer. I ask for the grace to know what it is I really need and to be happy in that. I also ask for the grace to make wise choices—healthy choices, loving choices, mindful choices. And I trust in Saint Angela’s promise, “I shall always be in your midst helping your prayers.”

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