Thursday, January 19, 2012

Thanks Bishop

So I walked into the Chancery today (the chancery is the "headquarters" of a diocese with all the offices that help the bishop run the diocese) to drop something off and walked up into the bishop's office.

I was tired from talking so much and being on my feet today. I flopped onto a chair in his office. "Christopher!" He used my first name. Priests mainly call each other by their first names. If we ever say "father" or "bishop" it is out of respect to the other priest.

What did you do today?" he asked in a happy Franciscan voice. "I lead a retreat all by myself for 8th graders," I said a bit tiredly. "By yourself?" "Yes. I opened up the retreat with a game. I delivered a talk that went longer than expected yet the teens were engaged the whole time. They had a small group discussion. I celebrated mass and I preached. We ate a quick lunch. Then we had a time of prayer with Adoration and praise and worship music." "Oh my" he responded.

Knowing how exhausting doing this can be, he said in a matter-of-fact kind of way, "So you going to rest a little with a quick nap?"
"Naw. I won't sleep later," I said. "I'll just have to get through the rest of the day somehow until the day ends."

Then in a sudden change of tone, the bishop says to me, "MAN UP! There are construction workers that are still working and will continue to work longer hours than what you put in today."

Sure there are days that we priests may put in more hours than others, and there are days that for whatever reason are slower than others...but as I sat there... I looked at him with a blank stare...surprised how he just gave me some perspective...

I thought to myself, "Huh...good point...So I worked alot today. Big deal. That's life."

I smiled. "Yeah, you are right." We continued talking about other stuff. Then I walked away still feeling tired, but grateful that I could do some work for the greater glory of God.

 Thanks for some perspective, Bishop...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Game Plan: Part5: Final Thought

Okay...want some advice? Eliminate the “I can’t do this” mindset. Forget “I can’t.” Rather say, “I presently struggle with this.”
If you keep that mindset, then over the course of time, we will be able to develop a habit of spending time with the Lord.

You are going to have to dig down and see what you are made of…
this is about commitment. Not about whether or not you feel good about it. 
This new life of prayer can happen. Remember, many saints struggled in their prayer too. Some went long times without feeling anything, feeling dry, like they were talking to walls, or like they thought about so many other things (distractions) except God. Yet they were STILL COMMITTED! 

This is a commitment out of love. The reason why I put this GAME PLAN together is to help us grow in love. To commit to God in love. C'mon, you do everything else that is put in front of you. Commit to something worth living for, commit to loving God by doing something "through Him, and with Him, and in Him."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Game Plan: Part4: Pointers

Hey everybody! I'm back. I spent time with the fam-bam. you go. For those working on your prayer lives, here is the second to last post!

  1. During this time, let there be silence. 
    • Be with the Lord. Allow him to take control of the thoughts. 
    • Be in that silence…in his peace. It’s here that the Lord begins to draw out things in our lives that we need to think about. It’s here that he begins to work on our hearts with the grace he has been giving us…Let your thoughts wander with the Lord. 
      • Silence can be hard, but we need it...sure, you can play Christian music to start your time in prayer, but make sure you make time to be there in silence :)
  2. Best way, I have found, to be in that silence and the peace of God is to just...RELAX and BREATHE...
    • focus on God, on the reading, on the reflection and just RELAX and be in the stillness of the the presence of his quiet love....
  3. You can do formal prayers (e.g., Our Father, Hail Mary, Memorare, etc) in the midst of this.
    • It's up to you when you want to do these. In the beginning or at the end. It's your prayer, you decide what to do. 
  4. Ultimately, your goal is to spend time with God. You want to be able to talk to Him and give Him the opportunity to talk to you.