Originally, I posted the first part last week, and for some reason it’s in the March archives! So just click on the link above. When you finish Part 1, there’s a link to get you back here.
By Jolene Scherr, Guest Blogger
A key element that needs to be part of any vocation is prayer. I would be stunned to hear of a priest who doesn’t pray or a religious who skips out on the Liturgy of the Hours, yet often we overlook the prayerless lives of a the laity with the mentality that prayer isn’t one of the things expected of us. God wants to be in relationship with EACH and EVERYONE of us, and He deserves to have our undivided attention – if even for just five minutes a day. With five kids in tote, a house and homeschooling to be managed all in a day, I can think of a million reasons why I just don’t have the time to pray, however, I can think of two million why it is necessary that I do thirty minutes at once, or five minutes here and there. With a little creativity, anyone can find the best way to develop a lifestyle that has prayer as one of its priorities.
The hardest part about implementing this sort of discipline is not necessarily finding free time to pray, but rather finding what has taken the place of prayer. So often, we treat our lives like suitcases, stuffing it beyond maximum capacity. If we find that we have to “sit on it” just to zip it up, then something has to go. If we can’t find time for prayer then perhaps it’s time we MAKE time. I can understand how difficult it is with little kids around to get that time to pray, however, what better example can we give them than to be a woman or man committed to prayer? I tells my kids to wait while I’m on the phone, so why can’t I ask them to give me 15 minutes when I’m chatting with God? After all, everyone benefits when prayer is part of the home.
“Come to me all who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest.”
So often, we are discouraged from a daily personal prayer time. We don’t really know what to do, or it doesn’t seem very meaningful at the time. Everyone feels this way at one time or another. Even poor Noah thought building a boat in the desert was an odd way to spend his time, however, when the rains came; all the time he had invested in developing this boat came in handy. We too will find shelter from the storms of life when we take up the ‘boards and nails’ and invest time in building a committed time of personal prayer, where we lay down our burdens and find direction for our lives.
The more I see the lay vocation being encouraged to be active contemplative (JPll) the more I am realizing that Mary and Martha are two sides of the same coin. We’re called to be attentive to our daily duties, and we are invited to grow deeper and deeper in relationship with the Holy Spirit. The lay vocation isn’t second-rate, after all Mary and Joseph were married and Jesus was a single person. The were called to be holy, so too are we. It may seem like a tall order, but with the Holy Spirit’s help, it’s only one step at a time.
‘Not everyone, obviously, can and should live as a monk or a hermit. But no Christian can do without an inner hermitage in which to meet his God.’ The Hermitage Within. Unknown Cistercian monk