Domáca úloha z minulého týdňa
Opýtajte sa, aspoň raz za deň, Napomôže mi to, čo práve teraz robím, stať sa „lepšou verziou seba samého“? Pozdielajte sa, či ste sa, po úprimnej odpovedi, rozhodli robiť niečo iné.
13: Hour by hour
Matthew Kelly writes, “Every activity can be transformed into prayer.” I disagree! I think he has it a bit backwards! Every prayer can be transformed by activity! While Kelly’s concept is correct and we can sanctify (make holy) our labor by offering up the trials, successes, time, and effort for a particular cause or purpose, our activity or work does not become prayer in and of itself. Rather, our activity/work, with the right intention, sanctifies the prayer we have made.
I’ve heard it hundreds of times in answer to my question, “What is your prayer life like?” Often, they respond with some form of “My work is my prayer” without any clue of understanding.This is another lazy cop out response to refuse giving to God what is just, what he deserves…our prayer and devotion! If our work is our prayer, then what need is there for going to Church each Sunday or spending quiet time in prayer with God each day?
Our work/activity sanctifies our prayer. Let’s take an example. Let’s say that you are a secretary and you decide to offer an hour of work for a colleague by praying, “Lord, I offer all the happiness, success, burden, pain, and sorrow in the next hour for the healing of Mary.” A beautiful prayer, yes, but the next hour determines how much you really believe in what you prayed. If you spend the hour gossiping, messing around online, and in general shirking your responsibilities, what does that say about the authenticity of your prayer? However, if you are cheerful, complete all your work in an exemplary fashion regardless of the struggle, and do so with a smile, it makes the prayer itself holy. The prayer is sanctified by your sincerity of work.
An argument can be made that prayer and work are the same because they both seek to do God’s will, and to a certain extent I would agree. However, the primary function of prayer and work are not the same. Prayer’s primary function or end is a greater relationship with God. Even when that prayer is for others, it ultimately shows your dependence upon and relationship with Him. The primary function of work is the relationship with others and self with the benefit being other people and the environment around us. Even I, as a priest dedicated to doing God’s work, do so for my community’s and my own spiritual well-being.
Finally, I know that throughout history Saints and Popes alike have made similar claims, that one’s work can be prayer, but these were always within the context of a society that valued faith and devotion. Unfortunately, for a time, I mirrored much of our society and proclaimed my work was my prayer so that I didn’t feel guilty for my lack of prayer. Fortunately, I had family in my life that called me out of this delusion and led me back to Church and the understanding of how work and prayer can never be the same, but at the same time, can work in conjunction for my sanctification and the sanctification of those around me. Always remember, both work and prayer are difficult and both take a lot of effort. Perhaps one day I will do both according to the perfect will of God!
Mental prayer is nothing else but being on terms of friendship with God, frequently conversing in secret with Him. St. Teresa of Avila
He who does not meditate acts as one who never looks into the mirror and so does not bother to put himself in order, since he can be dirty without knowing it. The person who meditates and turns his thoughts to God who is the mirror of the soul, seeks to know his defects and tries to correct them, moderates himself in his impulses and puts his conscience in order. St.Padre Pio of Pietrelcina
As fire has to have continuous contact with an object to affect it, so an intermittent thought cannot bring about passion in a heart; a certain amount of time is necessary. St. Basil the Great
“We do not get dignity from power or money or culture. We get dignity from work.” He noted: “Work is fundamental to the dignity of the person. Work, to use an image, ‘anoints’ with dignity, fills us with dignity, makes us similar to God who has worked and still works, who always acts.” Pope Francis
Otázky na zamyslenie (zdielanie)
- Cítite, že Boh vás vo vašom živote k niečomu povoláva? Žijete podľa toho volania?
- Chodíte do práce iba kvôli peniazom? Teší vás vaša práca?
- Pracujete niekde ako „volunteer“ (ako dobrovoľník)? Kde? Prečo?
- Aké veci robíte denne a pravideľne? Máte pravidelný denný „rytmus“?
Skúsme aspoň jednu hodinu práce, každý deň, venovať na nejaký „noble“ úmysel. Podeľme sa na budúce, ako sme sa pri práci počas tej hodiny cítili.