Friday, August 29, 2014
I am a little tired, but I wanted to share today, because this is one of my "God days."
Shouldn't all of them be "God days"? Yes, certainly, but it is hard on just any busy day to take big blocks of time for prayer or Scripture or study. I want to get there, but I am not. Some time ago, inspired, I began to take a couple days a week to devote a good deal more time to God.
I read Scripture chapters from which friends have recently quoted, or I study the chapters from which come the readings for the following Sunday's Mass. I pray much more on these days, not in big blocks of time - I still have not learned to discipline myself in that way - but I offer prayers throughout the day on behalf of someone who may need them, on behalf of their intentions or my own. Lately, I have prayed the Rosary - a prayer which I struggle still to grasp in faith but one which I respect in many ways, for the meditation on Christ's mysteries for instance.
I have even begun to have regular fast days. I only share this, because fasting is a hard thing to do, and I do not do it well! Nevertheless, I both sometimes dread and anticipate the coming fast days. I dread them, because I love food far too much and have an unhealthy attachment to chocolate and sweets. I anticipate them, because on these days of regimen I feel a unique sense of liberation. I bowl over my obsessions with food, and, thus, I concentrate more on my spiritual desires - the desire to have more courage, to increase in faith, to gain a listening heart as Solomon requested of God, and to grow far more selfless bit by little tiny bit. I conquer some of my disordered physical desires on these days by the grace of God.
Also, learning to fast, I have learned to pray more urgently and more often for others. When I feel hungry, I kneel and pray for whomever I am thinking of that day, someone who is struggling spiritually, emotionally or physically. I offer up my little hunger pangs for others. It is the only way I have found thus far to reject my aversion to fasting. I was never able to do it successfully simply as a spiritual exercise. I can only give it up, give in, for others. (Though, yes, I do occasionally pray for my own intentions on these days.) There is always someone - a great many someones - who need our prayers, who are on our thoughts. There seems to be a growing number of people to love and pray for, and a fast day is a good way to really concentrate on that part of our spiritual journey.
My spend more time with God days have been a big blessing for me thus far. I do not know where I go from here, but I am positive God will direct my path. He often lets me know when he wishes me to do or NOT to do something, and I am, I think, getting better at listening to Him.
Here is a sweet, short prayer for discernment that I try to pray often and with a listening heart:
Father, help us to discern your will for us, and give us the courage to follow it.
Always in Jesus name, Amen.