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Too Busy NOT to Pray – Weekly Message for October 27, 2015
Dear Friends in Christ,
Being part of an online ministry, I always look forward to meeting with our digital missionaries in person. This past month I have been ‘happy busy’ doing just that. I engaged with friends, old and new, at the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. In Michigan, I met with members of the Regnum Christi Movement while hosting our first ‘behind the scenes’ webinar. (Click HERE if you missed it!)
At this time of year I always hope for the pace to slow down. Yet with so much going on, and life getting busier, I too face a common dilemma…how to slow down to find time for prayer? We know that a habit of deep prayer does not happen on the run.
“The Lord tells us: ‘the first task in life is this: prayer.’ But not the prayer of words, like a parrot; but the prayer, the heart: gazing on the Lord, hearing the Lord, asking the Lord… Prayer, in the face of a problem, a difficult situation, a calamity, is opening the door to the Lord so that He will come. This is what praying is, opening the door to the Lord, so that he can do something. If we close the door, God can do nothing! Like Mary who has chosen the better part, she sees the way, as the door is opened to the Lord.” [Homily of Pope Francis, October 8, 2013].
We stumble in our “first task” as Christians when we decide we are too busy to pray. The saints knew to put God in the first place. We often know this in our heads, but our hearts and wills need more motivation. What could have motivated the saints to choose rightly? Perhaps they knew with deep conviction that prayer is essential because it draws us closer to Jesus and transforms us.
Through prayer we come to possess Jesus in our hearts, and invite him to accompany us as we go about our day. Rather than keep Jesus in a box for Sundays only, daily prayer is a way to include him in all that we do, which causes him great delight. What an easy way to please Jesus!
Through prayer we are renewed in the proper motivation of love in all our tasks. To complete your to-do list, yet fail to love in doing so, is to accomplish nothing of importance in God’s eyes. Daily prayer gives us the grace to have the right motivation. We don’t want to be like machines simply checking things off a list while losing sight of the big picture and our eternal destiny. We want to be fully alive with hearts full of love as we go about our day. Only through prayer can we fulfill our calling to love.
Through prayer our hearts are at peace because we put God first. A peaceful (rather than anxious and agitated) heart enjoys a supernatural perspective and is more receptive to guidance from the Holy Spirit. A peaceful heart can see more clearly where and how God wants us to do His will. How wonderful it is to proceed with confidence, knowing that we have sought God’s wisdom, rather than rely on human wisdom alone!
Every time we stop to pray, we encounter Jesus in the silence of our hearts, we renew our love, and we experience the peace that comes from faith and trust in the Lord. Our ‘to-do lists’ usually don’t change, but our hearts change in their ability to trust in God’s will and grace. One thing is certain, we will never regret a single moment spent with the Lord.
I hope that RCSpirituality can help you and many others to find ways to slow down to pray. You can spend a few minutes with our library of Retreat Guides watching by video or reading the meditations. You can listen to a Retreat Guide podcast, or consider a spiritual topic addressed by an Ask a Priest post.
Our resources are reminders and encouragement for you never to give up on your quest to grow closer to God. And when you share our resources with friends and family, you encourage them also to persevere in their commitment to prayer and the interior life.
With the assurance of my prayers for you and your loved ones,
P.S. Thank you once again to all of you for your spiritual and material support, which makes it possible for all of us here at RCSpirituality.org to keep on living out our mission to evangelize the digital continent.