Friday, January 6, 2017

Bringing God Into My Life

This is a post I wrote for my other blog "Straddling the Gap" but I thought it was also appropriate here.

If you are a believer, you understand the desire to bring God into your daily life.  While you may be accustomed to attending a church on Sundays, spending time with God during the week is more challenging, especially if you don't attend additional services.  Praying can be difficult if you aren't in the habit of doing it, and if you are waiting to "feel" God, you might be waiting for a while.  You can discover God in your daily life, but only if you look for Him.

Believe me when I say I'm not preaching.  This is one of my goals for 2017.  Mother Teresa went through long periods of her life where her walk with Jesus was "dry."  She didn't sense His presence, but she persisted in her prayer life.  It's a matter of habit, so I want to follow my own suggestions to get into the habit of bringing God into my daily life.

I think the most obvious is prayer.  As a Catholic, I have lots of formal types of prayer available to me - the Rosary, novenas, chaplets and many formal prayers.  That does make it a little easier.  But I think the essential part is setting a time every day exclusively for prayer.  There are many places you can get suggestions for how to pray, but generally, you should start with quiet.  Clear your mind.  Then start with praise and honor to God.  It's a little like saying hello.  Next, thank God for your blessings.  It can be mundane or the big things - family, health, life itself.  Only after you have praised and thanked God should you ask for anything.  Don't just ask for yourself - ask for others.

My next strategy will be reading the Bible.  I'm going to try to use a program to do it in a year.  There are multiple websites with suggestions for how to do this and you can find apps to read the Bible to you.  If you want to go deeper, there are countless Bible studies you can do yourself or find a group.  Finally, read some spiritual books.  There are too many to count and they come in all shapes, sizes and beliefs.  Find some that inspire you.

Finally, the best way to bring God into your daily life is just to open the door to Him.  Talk to Him while you're doing your daily activities.  Did you get a green light or a break in traffic?  Thank Him.  Did you lose your keys?  Ask for help.  Pray before meals.  Pray when you wake up and before you go to sleep.  These don't have to be long or complex.  If you're talking to someone all day, you will tend to think about them throughout the day.  God's not just hanging out in the church building.

Please pray for me and I will pray for you.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year

What do you want in 2017?

Peace.  Peace in the world.  Peace in our country.  Peace in our families.

Peace of mind.

I think ultimately peace can only be found in God.  As I start 2017, I'm feeling a distinct lack of peace.

I want 2017 to be a year where peace is advanced.

Want to join me?