Oct 25, 2008

Precious Moments

St. Theresa of Avila wrote in The Way of Perfection,
"We must retire within ourselves even during our ordinary occupations. If I can recall the companionship I have within me for so much as a moment, that is of great utility."

It is so difficult during a busy work day to turn within, as St. Theresa describes. This turning within is turning to God, the Holy Spirit dwelling within us by virtue of our baptism. It is easy to say "I am too busy," but she says that just a moment will do. Just a moment.
Perhaps my excuse of being too busy misses the mark. It is not really so much being too busy to be with Him for a moment, as forgetting He is even there. I forget that He is with me each moment of the day and night. I forget that my true purpose is outside of the very moment I am in, rather than remembering that there will come a day when all that matters is the One I love and who loves me. All here on earth will someday pass away - the deadlines, the sorrows and joys, the crisis.
What is needed is to train myself to focus on the very One who can carry me through each day instead of focusing on my own reactions and emotions. I need to remember that I have with me at every moment a Master whom I can consult on the smallest or largest detail of my day. It is perhaps returning to the "old school" practice of aspirations - short prayerful phrases - that lift our hearts and minds to the Lord for a moment. "Jesus, I trust in You."
Dear Jesus, help me to remember You throughout my day. Please ask my guardian angel to give me promptings to turn within to You. Please also give me the grace to respond to those promptings and nurture the remembrance of You throughout my busy days. You are my strength and the delight of my soul. All glory and honor to You...

Oct 20, 2008

Empty Rolls

Well, the Little Way is certainly not glamorous. One of my lessons involved toilet paper. It seemed that every time I reached for a square, either at work or at home, the roll was empty. At first I dutifully replaced the roll, feeling quite pleased with myself and my service to humanity.

Then after a few weeks of this almost daily chore, I began to think, "Can't ANYBODY else change a roll of toilet paper? Am I the only one ANYWHERE who can do this??" Once that little voice of resentment joined me, changing that roll made me feel annoyed. Such a small thing to become so irked over!

It didn't take long for the Lord to show me the difference in my attitude. He had shown me how the same task could be done with such different intentions, and with such different results for my soul. The Little Flower teaches us to do small things with great love. Our loving Lord had given me an opportunity for me to practice this favorite maxim.

Now, when it is down to the last square, it becomes a spiritual exercise. Will I change that roll out of love for my God and Lord...not because someone else didn't do it...but because I want to learn the lesson that He is teaching me? Will I do just this smallest of chores with great love? Will I choose Christ when I change an empty roll? He gives me the choice. Making the choice to love is my gift to Him.

Lord, how many opportunities to honor you do I waste each day? You are such a gentle teacher, you do not expect me to start out with big, glorious opportunities, instead you strengthen me with small and seemingly menial "good works" to train my soul to serve You as the faithful and loving servant that I so long to be. Thank you for the mercy and love that you shower daily upon me...