Pastor's Corner Jul 21 2019

St. John Vianney said [I am paraphrasing] that the very first moment of the day is crucial. If the devil owns that first moment, it is easy for him to get the rest of the day. St. Francis de Sales says our morning offering should be brief but full of fervor- a raising of the heart to God- and it should never ever be missed. Then, throughout the day, one can renew this giving, even in a few seconds, here and there and hopefully very often.

These two saints give us very practical advice in order to advance further in our relationship with Christ. In monastic life for instance, once the monk gets up, he is to be on his knees facing his crucifix and offering himself. He then proceeds to make his bed as well as he can as his first "work" of the day. The idea is that it is setting a tone for the rest of the day.

In spiritual life, to make any progress, things must be practical. One of the first realities is that, like any relationship, it takes time. Time management is essen-tial. St. Teresa of Avila would be noticed smiling every time the clock sounded at the hour mark. When asked why, she answered that she was an hour closer to meeting her loving Savior. Time is something we will never get back. So, do we sit down with Our Lord on a regular basis, in front of the tabernacle if we can, and practically "map out" a structure to our days and especially dealing with the people the Lord has given us? He said: "Without me you can do nothing," and also: "If you are weary and burdened, come to me, I will give you rest." This act of going to Him is called our prayer life- and its regularity is essential [Everyday!]. Do I ever get to the end of a day and realize that the rosary, spiritual reading or my prayer sessions with the Lord went by the wayside? And yet how many minutes or hours were wasted on television shows or idly browsing the internet? If my life could be made into a caricature, what priority would it spell out?

Our Lord tells us: "Seek first the Kingdom of heaven, and all else will be given you". May this be a very practical reality for us. Let us take time daily and map it out with Our Lord- what's the plan? St. John tells us: "My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed, and in truth." In other words: What does this look like, practically speaking, in my everyday life? Otherwise, our good intentions remain nice thoughts and ideas on a shelf, gathering dust.

Please know that all of you, your families and loved ones are in my daily prayers at the Altar of the Lord.

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