In the hustle and bustle of daily life sometimes we can become so consumed in climbing the corporate ladder, being a parent or a spouse, attending PTO meeting at our children’s schools, rushing to soccer practice, and soon we find ourselves feeling as if we are on the other side of the great divide from God.
If you’re feeling like you are caught in the quicksand of life and can’t get out, there are a few things you might block off time for in your calendar that could be your life rope out of the sinking sand.
1.) Pray Daily
Prayer is not an option, it’s a necessity to your day. Without prayer you are left vulnerable to temptation, sins, and the snares of Satan.
The Bible is clear about the importance of praying daily as a means of fighting off the tactics of Satan. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Mark 14:38)
The saints are our models of holiness and they were dedicated to daily prayer. Why shouldn’t we be?
Saint John Chrysostom said “it is simply impossible to lead, without the aid of prayer, a virtuous life.”
Make prayer the first thing you do before your feet hit the floor in the mornings and the last thing you do before your eyes close for the night. Whether it is saying a couple Hail Marys, Our Father, or just openly talking to God about your concerns, fears, and praises, it’s necessary in order to grow your faith.
Imagine if you never talked to your spouse. What kind of relationship with you have? What if you only talked to your spouse once a week for an hour and then you waited another 7 days to talk to him/her again? Would your relationship survive? Would it thrive? Why do we treat God differently than we treat our human relationships when God should be our most important relationship?
Read your Bible. Read stories of the saints, read writings from the early Church Fathers, read about your faith and know your faith! The more you know the more you will fall in love with the faith, the Church, and ultimately the head of the Church -Jesus.
Reading the Bible can help you see and understand how God worked through the lives of the early Christians and the Jews. It will help you understand how God speaks, what Christ did and taught, and how that relates to your life today.
Reading the writings of the saints will help you understand that normal, ordinary people, enjoyed a deep and intimate faith and relationship with the Lord and you will start to see just how they did it. You will begin to see, to believe, and to know you can have that kind of relationship as well.
3.) Attend Mass
There is nothing greater than the mysteries of the Mass and the Eucharist. There is nothing more special than receiving the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus Christ hidden in the Eucharist. If you want to deepen your faith then you need to be a part of your faith. Daily Mass can re-center your life and help you get through the day with a different view and a sense of the presence of Christ, the peace of Christ, within you and in you.
“It would be easier for the world to survive without the sun than to do without Holy Mass,” St. Pio of Pietrelcina said.
There was even a moment where St. Teresa asked the Lord, after being so overwhelmed with God’s goodness, how she could thank Him for everything He had given her and for just how good He was. The Lord replied to St. Teresa “attend one Mass” as the way she could thank you.
If you’re grateful for the Lord, show Him your gratitude by attending Mass.
“There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us.” (St. Jean Vianney)
4.) Keep A Journal
Most of us have not kept a journal since we were children or teenagers, but as adults we can become so enveloped in the current circumstances of life that we forget the past. When things seem to fall apart then that becomes the only thing we see, but when we keep a journal of our prayers and the answers to those prayers, it leaves a record we can go back and look to remind ourselves just how much God has done for us.
Try it. All you need is a notebook and pen. Begin dating your entries and write your prayer requests and your concerns. After a prayer has been answered (regardless if it is the way you wanted it to be answered or not) note in your journal how and when the prayer was answered.
In several months you should go back and see just how much God has done for you and how good He is to you. That reminder seems to help refocus your view on the current circumstances you face and helps you to see God in the midst of whatever the situation may be.
5.) Be Still
God gives us a command in Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God…”
That’s not a suggestion or a recommendation, it is a command.
Jesus would often retreat alone to pray and be away from the crowds. In the Garden of Gethsemane He retreated alone as the most horrific day of his earthly life was approaching.
If Jesus needed time alone then why is it hard for us to believe we do as well.
We need quiet. We need peace. We need time to sit and contemplate God, feel His presence, and hear His voice.
“It is better to remain silent than to speak the truth ill-humoredly, and spoil an excellent dish by covering it with bad sauce.” (St. Francis de Sales)
“A talkative soul lacks both the essential virtues and intimacy with God. A deeper interior life, one of gentle peace and of that silence where the Lord dwells, is quite out of the question. A soul that has never tasted the sweetness of inner silence is a restless spirit which disturbs the silence of others.” (St. Faustina)