Thursday, July 28, 2011
Summer's tough for prayer...
I've finally been thinking about how my prayer life has taken a hit lately. I'm not sure if I can completely blame the summer, but it does make taking a little more quiet time difficult. And although I've been home and my routine hasn't been changing all that much, with different day trips, my husband taking some time off, swimming lessons and visiting family (not to mention all the extra laundry/packing this creates!), it seems that I've lost the little routines of my prayer life that I did have.
I just read yesterday Pope Benedict's suggestions for a good summer vacation. Of course he makes the great points of how visiting cultural sites, reading, appreciating nature renew us spiritually. Also, we should be intentional about renewing friendships with others and God, and reflecting of Scriptures. These all sound like wonderful things that I could do if somehow I didn't have be corralling three toddlers, and then cleaning up after them! For me I feel as if time is flies through the summer days! Its the end of July already, and I feel that even though I've tried to enjoy our summer every spare minute is crammed with trying to keep the house clean, the laundry semi-washed, giving kids a catch-up nap etc. etc. Don't get me wrong I don't think I'm a slave to this work, it just feels like my days are more fully packed than usual, which I'm sure is true for 99.9 percent of people in the summer.
I've been trying to catch up with just my basic readings this morning as the kids went out with my husband and the last few days in the Magnificat the reflections on self abandonment are really appropriate for me. I, of course, think I need to do more "things" to get a better prayer life going, when again and again I am reminded that the self-abandonment and acceptance of today is far more effective in getting closer to Christ. Here's the two passages that made me think, and hopefully start to improve!
"We have to accept the self, and the surroundings, and the story, that God's providence arranges for us. In humility we must accept our self - just as we are; in charity, we must accept and love our neighbor just as he is; in abandonment, we must accept God's will just as things happen to us, and just as he would have us act. Faithful compliance with his will and humble acceptance of his arrangements will bring us to full union with Christ."
- Dom M. Eugene Boylan
"It is not the business of the soul to determine the particular matter of the submission it owes to God; its sole business is to be ready for everything and to submit to everything. There lies the essence of self-abandonment;that is what God demands of the soul. The free self-offering that he asks of the heart consists of abnegation, obedience, and love: the rest is his business. Whether the soul takes pains to fulfill the duty of its state of life, or follows with sweetness an attraction inspired by God, or peacefully submits to the impressions of grace on its body and soul is no matter: in all this it exercises in the depth of the heart one and the same general act of self-abandonment.
-Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade