Saint Francis de Sales reportedly once said, “Every one of us needs half an hour of prayer each day except when we are busy—then we need an hour.” At first this phrase seems counterintuitive, but upon closer reflection it holds profound wisdom. If we are hungry, we do not say, “I am too busy to eat today.” We make time to eat. If we are thirsty, we do not say, “I am too busy to drink water today.” We make time to drink. If we are feeling short of breath, we do not say, “I don’t need so much air in my lungs today!” We make time to sit down and catch our breath.
So, if we are feeling busy, overwhelmed, and spiritually depleted, why then would we make less time for spiritual nourishment rather than more? Prayer is food for our spirits, thirst-quenching water for our souls, and the fresh air we need for our spiritual survival. Prayer grounds our lives in the word of God, in our relationship with God, and in our awareness of the presence of Christ in each person we meet.
How will you make time to pray—to sit at the feet of Jesus, to feast on the fruit of God’s word, to be the hope of glory, and to trust in God’s steadfast love? I encourage you to explore refreshing new prayer possibilities—contemplative coloring, prayer beads, yoga, centering prayer, or cell phone sabbath. Whatever your prayer practice may be, embrace it fully and allow it to feed the presence of Christ in you so that you can be the presence of Christ in the world.
Lord, open my eyes to refreshing new ways to pray so that I may feed the Christ within me. In so doing, may I gain the sacred strength and divine wisdom to raise my voice for peace and justice in a deeply wounded world. Amen.
This reading from Amos provides more indication of the reasons for God’s coming judgment. Too many in Israel have been oppressing the poor. They cannot wait for religious festivals to end so that they can make more money through corrupt trade, including what we now call human trafficking. If we understand the psalmist to be David, the warning he issues in this passage concern Saul. Because Saul has turned to evil, God will not allow him to remain in power. While God is love, God also sometimes brings judgment. The author of Colossians extols the elevated status of Christ, who has reconciled us to himself through his death. In Luke, Mary prioritizes spending time with Jesus, while Martha focuses on working for Jesus. It is Mary who receives Jesus’ praise.
Read Amos 8:1-12. Who in your community has been left behind in the famine from hearing the words of the Lord? How can you care for them?
Read Psalm 52. How do you remain rooted in God’s steadfast love when you cry out against injustice?
Read Colossians 1:15-28. What do you need to let fall away to reveal the mystery of Christ in you?
Read Luke 10:38-42. How do you focus on Christ even as you attend to the necessary tasks of daily life?
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