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A quiet moment: Weekly Message for 07-26-2022
Dear Friends in Christ,
Late July is a moment when even those with no school age children see the summer pivoting from vacation to back to work/school. For educators, July is the month of re-charging and planning for the impending school year. For most parents, the children will soon be back in school, and the abundance of practices (sports, band, etc.) start to wind back up again, or the nest re-empties as sons and daughters return to college.
This can bring eager anticipation to get back to the ordinary routine, anxiety over vacations ending and work resuming, or regret about everything we planned to do during the summer but vegged out instead, maybe cramming in a few items on your summer to-do list at the last minute to have at least accomplished something during the summer break.
My goal is not to paint a bleak portrait. Concerns, anxieties, and regrets are part of life. As believers we have the confidence to know they won’t last forever, nor will their causes. To renew and rely on that hope in the Lord’s promise, we need to not only seek quiet moments but make them too. That process is exterior (solitude, a quiet place and time), but also interior. A quiet moment requires that we set aside the thoughts and anxieties of the present moment to be alone with the Lord, and to focus on one thing with the One Thing Necessary (cf. Luke 10:41-42 and the Lord’s advice to Martha).
Prayer helps us achieve the quiet moments we need, but particularly what is known as mental prayer: meditation and contemplation (cf. CCC 2705-2724). Vocal prayers, whether out loud or not, are important, but with mental prayer we focus on one thing of the Lord and with the Lord. My Legionary confrere, Fr. Jason Smith, recently published the course RCSC 105, Letting God Behold You, on the Online Classroom, an introduction to mental prayer that draws from his personal experience of prayer and the best advice he has given to many seeking the quiet moment.
Fostering the quiet moment also enables us to hear what the Lord wishes to say to us (cf. 1 Kings 19:9-13 on Elijah’s encounter with the Lord). He always wants to remind us that he loves us, and that elicits a response of love for him on our part, an invitation to growth and spiritual maturity. Fr. John Bartunek’s course RCSC 201, A Catholic Vision of Spiritual Maturity, can help you grow into the believer the Lord wants you to be.
As summer winds down may the Lord bless you with some quiet moments to know him and love him more deeply.
Father Nikola Derpich, L.C.
Author Maximizing the Mass