Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Unity of Life: Daily Life and Prayer

Personal practices of piety cannot be isolated from the rest of our daily concerns. Rather they should be moments when our constant turning to God is made more intense and more profound; the whole tone of our daily activity is then raised. It is clear that to seek sanctity in the middle of this world does not simply consist in simply doing or in multiplying devotions or pious practices. It lies in an effective union with the Lord with such actions promote and to which they are ordained. And when there is an effective union with the lord, this affects the whole of one's activity. These practices will lead you, almost without your realizing it, to contemplative prayer. Your soul will pour forth more acts of love, aspirations, acts of thanksgiving, acts of atonement, spiritual communions and this will happen while you go about your ordinary duties, when you answer the telephone, get on a bus, open or close a door, pass in front of a church, when you begin a new task, during it and when you have finished it ... (J. Escriva, Friends of God)

Thus we will try to live, with Christ and in Christ, at each and every moment of our existence at work, in the family, among friends. This is unity of life. It is then that personal piety is directed to action, giving it both encouragement and content, converting every task into another act of love for God. And in their turn, work and the tasks of each day make it easier to relate to God; they are the field where all the virtues are exercised. If we try to work well and to give our actions the transcendental dimension of the love of God, our deeds will be of use for the salvation of men and we will make the world more human. for it is not possible for man to be respected -- and even less to be loved -- if God is neglected or opposed, for man is only man when he is the true image of God. ...
I have been finding this to be very true as I have been more vigilant about forcing myself to take time for prayer before beginning the day. It all comes together in a flow back and forth with God's presence wound through everything ...

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