“For me, each day came forth from the hand of God newly created and alive with opportunities to do His will. For me, each day was a series of moments and incidents to be offered back to God, to be consecrated and returned in total dedication to His will.”
— From the memoir He Leadeth Me by Father Walter J. Ciszek
This quotation really takes my breath away. It’s so simple and yet seems to contain so much. Every day is a gift from God and Father Walter endeavours to offer each moment back to Him. I tend to make my Morning Offering, take a look at the day’s Mass readings while I guzzle coffee and then, suitably fuelled by caffeine, start the day.
I’ve been thinking that something might be wrong with this picture but I’m not sure what to change or how to change it. Or even if I can.
The Divine Office? It’s certainly good for brining one back to God five times a day but, being totally honest, I’ve tried to ‘do’ it to the best of my ability and really didn’t get a whole lot out of it. The Office is centred around the Psalms. The Psalms are poetry. I’m not really fond of poetry. And, in any case, I’m sure they lose a lot in translation. I can see the point of saying a specific Psalm relating to your current situation but what’s the point of saying something that doesn’t fit where you are? No, the Divine Office and I don’t get along.
Daily Mass? Now here’s something I can do. I love going to Mass. I won’t bore you by listing all the reasons why but I do love it. And I’m fortunate to be in a Parish where Mass is celebrated every morning at a Church within walking distance from my home. I like the direction my life takes when I go every day, especially if I have time for Adoration too. The weather and ill health have conspired against me getting to Sunday Mass, never mind Weekday, recently but I’m willing to start reversing the trend. In fact, I’ve already made up a new schedule with ‘9:30am – Mass’ as the first appointment each day. Now I just have to get well enough to go and hope the snow stays away.
So I’ve found a ‘Big Thing’ I can do. But I feel I need ‘Little Things’ too. I’m reminded of Brother Lawrence who gave each task he performed to God. I’ve read The Practice of the Presence of God but it was an audiobook and I found it difficult to take in. I’d actually struggle now to tell you anything from it.
Is prayer the key? I’m thinking about learning specific prayers for specific activities/intentions. Yes, I know there’s nothing wrong with just chatting to God in your own words but rote prayers work better for me. I already have a prayer which I say whenever I hear that someone has died. I think it’s time to start adding other prayers to my repertoire. I think a visit to the Pauline bookstore to look at prayer books may be in order …