Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Secret to a Spiritual Life Amidst Busyness

Most of us have lives that are filled with busyness.  We are constantly on the go, busy with work, caring for our family, involved in self-help activities, engaged in entertainment, following our kid's sports, caring for elderly parents and so forth.  Life in today's interconnected world is very demanding. We are never out of touch and continually responding to shifting demands and needs. We are often so busy that we do not even think about God the entire day.  Many of us do not even have time for daily prayer.  All this leads us to a stressful life, one that is separated from God.

To transform such a life of busyness, the secret is "unceasing remembrance of God." This is our most important spiritual task, to learn how to remember God at all times no matter how busy we are. By fortifying ourselves with such remembrance, God never leaves our mind. with God in our mind at all times He is always with us and is everywhere. This is the only way to transform our lives into one that is forever spiritual. All our activities become made up of actions dedicated to the will of God. We become more able to choose those activities which are truly important and to give up those that are not so important.  We even learn, though God's grace, how to make increasing time for daily prayer, regular worship and participation in the sacraments.

Saint Theophan instructs us as follows:
Nothing special is required for this, just the intention of accepting it and exerting yourself, and remembering that the Lord is in you and close by you, and looks in you and inside of you just as intently as if someone were looking right at you. So that you do not do something, just remember that the Lord is close by and watching. Work at making this a habit and you will get used to it, and as soon as it is a habit, or is almost a habit, you will see the read gaming action that comes from it in the soul. Just do not forget that remembrance of God is not like remembrance of other things, that it must be combined with the fear of God and reverence of Him.
To make it easier to acquire the habit of remembrance of God, there is a special method for fervent Christians; that is, the unceasing repetition of a short prayer... most common is “Lord, have mercy!” “Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner!” If you have never heard this, then listen, and if you have never done it, then begin doing it from this moment on. Whether you are walking, sitting, working, eating, going to bed, repeat over and over the words, “Lord, have mercy!” “Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner!” From long practice of this, the words will fasten themselves to the tongue so that they will repeat themselves. This has a very settling effect on the soaring and wandering of the thoughts. Again, do not forget to combine this prayer with reverence.

More on the Jesus Prayer

Reference: The Spiritual Life, pp 187–188 

1 comment:

  1. Of course we could just bugger all the sinful business (almost all of it is either sin, tempts sin or exhibits some other vanity of chasing after the wind), and try something different.

    But perhaps you are trying not to burn anyone with such brightness.


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