Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A break from God's work

As a catechist, I always look forward to this time of break every year. If you have noticed, our church suddenly becomes quieter because catechism classes had closed for the year and many of our young and their families have gone overseas.

I seem to have a lot of “free” time even though my daily work carries on as usual. Maybe this is because I do not have to worry about the lesson plans for catechism class and also I can wake up anytime I like on Sundays as long as I am in time for Mass. In a way, it is resting from God’s work but not resting from God.

God’s action is the model for human action. If God “rested and was refreshed” on the seventh day, man too ought to “rest” and should let others, especially the poor, “be refreshed”. The Sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money. (CCC 2172)

If you have no plans to travel abroad for sight-seeing or shopping, a spiritual retreat is one way where you can experience holiness and be refreshed. A silent retreat allows us to slow down from all the hectic secular activities and engage God through prayers and silence. A very effective form of prayer that is practised in this kind of retreat is Meditation.

Meditation engages thought, imagination, emotion, and desire. This mobilization of faculties is necessary in order to deepen our convictions of faith, prompt the conversion of heart, and strengthen our will to follow Christ. Christian prayer tries above all to meditate on the mysteries of Christ, as in lectio divina or the rosary. This form of prayerful reflection is of great value, but Christian prayer should go further: to the knowledge of the love of the Lord Jesus, to union with him. (CCC 2708)

Perhaps you would also like to take this time-off from God’s work to read “The Seven Daily Habits of Holy Apostolic People” by Fr John McCloskey which offers some ways to achieve holiness. The seven daily habits that Fr John McCloskey proposed are the morning offering, spiritual reading (New Testament and a spiritual book), the Holy Rosary, Holy Mass and Communion, at least fifteen minutes of mental prayer, the recitation of the Angelus at noon, and a brief examination of conscience at night. It is important to note that incorporating all the seven habits in our daily routine is a gradual process and attempting to adopt them in haste usually results in failure. As such, I encourage you to go online and spend some time to read the article before examining the seven habits. Click here to access the article.

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