Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Four Supremely Important Questions

"Redemption, salvation for every individual, consists in doing the will of God, no more and no less."  Fr. Walter Ciszek, He Leadeth Me

Redemption and salvation are THE two most important things for any human life.  Consequently, it is supremely important to understand what the will of God looks like in our daily lives, if that is the means to obtain THE two most important things.

But, "It's hard to know what God wants!"  Right?


According to Fr. John Devlin (one of the retreat masters from my silent retreat), "We must choose between the reign of Christ (loving God and others) and the reign of the devil (whatever increases self and creates distance from God)."

Luke 16:13 and Matthew 6:24 tell us, "No one can serve two masters."  Fr. John agrees, yet points out the reality in our daily lives. "Sometimes, we serve two masters within the same hour."  Can you identify with this?  For most of us, we are constantly choosing self or battling to resist.  We often have an internal struggle on our hands.

He reminded us that after following the Ten Commandments, fulfilling the duties of our state-in-life (spouse, parent, single, religious) is our primary pathway to holiness.  As good as other opportunities and activities are, they must not interfere with the calling we have already received, and the duties which accompany that calling.

So, a few practical questions are very helpful as we navigate our daily lives:

1.  Who am I serving?
2.  Will this get me closer to Heaven?
3.  Am I doing what I should be doing right now?
4.  Is there anything better that I should be doing?

I have found the answers to these questions, throughout a day's time, to be very illuminating.  Since returning from my retreat and pondering these questions, I have changed several things in my life that previously I did habitually and unconsciously.  Specifically:

1.  I silenced the text alert on my phone, so I am not continually being distracted by it, and interrupting what I have already determined needs to be done.  (Instead, I check it and catch up in a quiet moment when I am not otherwise engaged).

2.  I took Facebook off of my phone.  Way too easy to kill a minute, or 5, or 10, several times a day.  Now, I only get on Facebook when I intend to, because it requires me to plop in front of the computer (which I don't like to do).

3.  I stopped checking blog statistics in between posts.  I am writing for God, and to God I am leaving the results.  I was "stealing time" for something that belongs to God anyway.

4.  I am keeping one day commitment-free and limiting the length of other engagements, so that my schedule reflects that my family is my first priority, after God.  I was not doing anything to safeguard the time that is necessary to fulfill the duties relating to my state-in-life, as a wife and mother:  Housecleaning, planning well for meals, jumping on the trampoline, building Legos, and just "being"...

God can also lead us by the circumstances of any given moment.  Often, what we should do next demands to be done, and involves no thought at all.  However, Fr. John reminds us, "We do not answer to the circumstances of our lives.  We answer to the Lord."

"He [God] writes His own Gospel in the hearts of the just.  All their actions, every moment of their lives, are the Gospel of the Holy Spirit.  The souls of the saints are the paper, their sufferings and actions, the ink.  The Holy Spirit with the pen of His power writes a living Gospel, but a Gospel that cannot be read until it has left the press of this life, and has been published on the day of eternity.  Oh! great history!  grand book written by the Holy Spirit in this present time!  It is still in the press.  There is never a day when the type is not arranged, when the ink is not applied, or the pages are not primed." Jean Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence

Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for this sunny day, time with the women in my women's group this morning, priests who devote themselves to You for the salvation of souls, and for any clarity we gain on our salvation journey.  Thank you for extended quiet where You are most easily heard, and for all of the lights, graces, and consolations You bestowed upon me during those 3 days of silence. 

Lord, please help me to be honest with myself, so that I may be honest with You and others.  Help me to know myself well, so that I may cling to You ever more tightly, and to my own pride, less and less.  Thank you for being so gentle with me, and revealing areas of weakness in times of abundant grace.  I love You.  Amen. 

No comments:

Post a Comment