I’m having difficulty finding time to spend with God (and I feel so guilty because of it :o). Just wondering how everyone else manages to find time to spend with God when they’re super busy? And how do you feel about it; i.e. guilty, ok with it, etc?
Mouse has faith-- I like that!
“Prayer is the raising of ones mind and heart to God.” Catechism (2259) You can do that anytime, anywhere, while doing anything. You can recite our fathers in your head. You can thumb through the new testament, pick out one verse, keep it in your mind on and off all day, noting any applications to your life that day. You can sing. You can listen to someone. You can vacuum… all while quickly saying, "Thanks Lord for letting me do this."
Raising ones mind and heart to God happens all day long if you will it to be so. Setting aside prayer time is good… but I understand your predicament and when my kids were small, oh my, I didn’t get sleep let alone have prayer “time.” But that’s when I learned every moment can be prayer and we don’t have to “feel” like we are praying to be praying well. The fruits of your life tell you everything about quality of prayer.
I once had a priest say that “If you’re too busy for God, you’re too busy.” I don’t imagine that’s too helpful, though.
I suppose it depends on what you are busy with? For the last few months, I have felt like I never stop. But I do my best to make time for Daily Mass in the mornings and praying Morning and Evening prayers. That is a minimum. When I am busiest and craziest is oftentimes when I need God most.
Often, though, I find that things like messing around on the computer come before my time with God. That is an ongoing struggle.
Spending time with God is a very big area of mystical theology. While I was studying Mystical Theology in grad school, I realized that one thing the mystics all have in common is their ability to create a special place and time in their daily life. It need not be anything that’s elaborate. It can be as simple as taking a quiet walk every day or just sitting quietly after everyone has gone off to bed. Just taking those last 15 minutes before bedtime to sit. You don’t even have to do anything.
St. John Baptist de La Salle, the founder of the Christian Brothers had a custom of beginning his classes with “Let us remember that we’re in the holy presence of God.” Then he would sit down for a minute or two. Without the students realizing it, he was creating a prayer space in their day and in their heads. I’ve used this with people when I do spiritual direction. I tell them to remind themselves that they are in the holy presence of God and to sit.
Another example that comes to my mind is Elizabeth Ann Seton. She’s a great example for busy parents. Elizabeth was a widow and mother of five very young children. She had to work to support them. She also had to care for them. In fact, we read in her biography that two of her children were a handful. Richard was obstinate and bright. Rebecca’s health was very fragile. She died as a very young child. But what is amazing about Elizabeth is that she had excellent writing skills. She wrote letters and kept a journal. Those reading this may want to find her book, Dear Remembrances. Writing can be a way of spending time with God. Just make sure that when you write you’re not paying attention to spelling, grammar, etc. Just let the pen float across the paper. You’ll find that the Spirit will speak.
Finally, another example for busy people is one of my own Franciscan brothers, Thomas Moore. Thomas was a husband, father, lawyer, statesman and Franciscan. One has to wonder how he juggled all of these and kept his sanity, since he didn’t keep his head (Henry had him decapitated). Thomas had a wonderful practice that did not involve law, but involved great love. He had joined the Franciscan Brothers and Sisters of Penance, also known as the Secular Franciscan Order for short. By the way, it is a true religious order; but that’s another thread. Anyway, Thomas cultivated the habit of penance. He followed St. Francis guidelines on penance. He did penance for those who did not. He fasted and abstained. He bore the vicissitudes of life with great patience and offered them for the salvation of souls, especially the soul of his king, whom he loved very much. He did the difficult things of everyday life for the sake of the Crucified Christ. When he had to do something difficult, he would touch his cross under his shirt and offer it up with Christ on the cross.
Thomas had an uncanny ability to sort through life and separate between what you have to do and what you want to do. He focused on what he had to do. This left him time for God. Then, if there was more time, he did what he liked to do. This is one of the finest example of a penitential life lived in the constant presence of God.
I hope this helps.
Br. JR, OSF
BroJR, that was so nice! And acadian, I have to laugh. Look where I am now at 5:45 a.m.! (typing this :)) But, I did already sit with my coffee and scripture so … nice readings today by the way, “neither death nor life, etc… can separate us from the love of God.” I might actually come back to this thread. I found both of your words so good for me to hear since I came to the conclusion before I turned the computer on that my nagging thought to shorten my stints to this forum was something I need to follow up on… pick an choose and strong limits. Mouse has Faith… gosh I like that!
I’ll second what Bailey2 said in her first post: whatever, whenever, wherever or however you spend a mere second to call on the Goodness of God is a prayer. “Prayer is the raising of ones mind and heart to God.” Catechism (2259) Even if you said “good morning” and “good night” and that was it, He would most likely be pleased that you acknowledged His Presence.
(I see you’re in the fair continent of Australia, my parents just left yesterday for three weeks vacation in your country) G’day mate!
Good replies, guys, & Bailey2, thanks for the compliment on the name.
I pray as I do daily things, definently say “good morning” and “good night” to God, guess I don’t “feel” as though that’s spending time with Him. Hmm. Think I need to create what JReducation was talking about, a space, for God, and go there at least a few times a week, and hopefully just talk to Him as I do my daily tasks each day in addition.
Anyway thanks again, I enjoyed hearing those other stories too.
P.S. kgbdman, hope your parents are having a great time here, it’s a beautiful country!
Creating a physical space for God is the first step in creating an interior space for God. This is why the monastic cell is so important to those of us who are religious.
Br. JR, OSF
For me I’m a college student so I have a pretty good amount of free-time, at least compared to those who have to work 8-12 hours a day 5 days a week or whatever. So I guess it’s easy :\
But if I were very busy, and some days I am, it’s pretty easy to just set aside a minute or two of vocal prayer in the morning, a rosary at some point during the day, generally in the evening, which only takes 15-20 minutes but is a very powerful prayer, and another minute or two of nighttime prayer.
Try praying throughout the day in little ways. That’s a good habit to get into. Not anything formal, just talk to God about whatever, even if it’s trivial. For example, I might wake up and go outside and just briefly say in my head while I’m having my cigarette or whatever I’m doing out there “thanks so much for such a beautiful day! It does wonders for my mood”; or before work, just a brief prayer in your head that God works through you and helps you to do his will: no matter how humble the job God can help you do good through it, even if it’s as small as being friendly to people while you’re behind the cash register or whatever. Just little things like that can be a big help and don’t take any time, they can be done while you’re doing other things.
That’s how one spends time with God around the clock. You’d make a good brother. Ever think about it?
Br. JR, OSF
Believe it or not I have; 17 years old right now but . . . I’d love to shoot you a pm if that’s alright.
Go ahead and shoot, I’m ducking.
Br. JR, OSF
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
The mysteries of Jesus’ hidden life
531 During the greater part of his life Jesus shared the condition of the vast majority of human beings: a daily life spent without evident greatness, a life of manual labour. His religious life was that of a Jew obedient to the law of God,221 a life in the community. From this whole period it is revealed to us that Jesus was “obedient” to his parents and that he "increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man."222
532 Jesus’ obedience to his mother and legal father fulfils the fourth commandment perfectly and was the temporal image of his filial obedience to his Father in heaven. the everyday obedience of Jesus to Joseph and Mary both announced and anticipated the obedience of Holy Thursday: "Not my will. . ."223 The obedience of Christ in the daily routine of his hidden life was already inaugurating his work of restoring what the disobedience of Adam had destroyed.224
533 The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into fellowship with Jesus by the most ordinary events of daily life:
The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus - the school of the Gospel. First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, that admirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us. . . A lesson on family life. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere and simple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character… A lesson of work. Nazareth, home of the “Carpenter’s Son”, in you I would choose to understand and proclaim the severe and redeeming law of human work. . . To conclude, I want to greet all the workers of the world, holding up to them their great pattern their brother who is God.225
2460 The primordial value of labor stems from man himself, its author and beneficiary. By means of his labor man participates in the work of creation. Work united to Christ can be redemptive.
My dear friend
Can I suggest if your in grace God is within you. To spend time with God just go within yourself for your prayer. With the rest of the time God is everywhere. Your neighbour is God. So if you spend time with other people just see them as another Jesus and treat them as Jesus and this is totally spending time with God. We can find God in everything too. Music can be prayer, same with work, chores, study, washing, cleaning, eating, sleeping. All normal human activity if it is not sin can be prayer if we want. We just have to try to do it well and it’s Gods will for us to do or these normal things. Doing Gods will is prayer no matter how ordinary it is. We can’t do any good or even exist without Gods help. God is in you doing all good for you. Just cooperate even if your busy and can’t keep a conversation with God and your spending time with God. Just understand that in all normal good things God is working in you to do them and have the intention of cooperating with Him and try to do all well and you can pray 24/7 continuously. It may take time but practise makes perfect. It’s a struggle for all to find time in a busy world. So find God where you are and just try and do His will and please Him. All the prayer in the world is of little avail if it has no love in it too. So try and put tons of love into all, and do it for God. Love can take many forms, even sacrificial love. This way even if we feel nothing we can still love. Sacrificial love is the highest form of love too- dvine. We all have to struggle our whole life with this. There are millions of businesses and vaious activites that want our time and money. The only worthwhile activity in the end is to communicate love to God. But this love can be expressed in a myriad of ways. Many more than I say here too. I hope this helps.
God bless you and pray for me:thumbsup: