Thursday, September 6, 2007

"In return and rest you shall be saved"

"For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust your strength lies. But this you did not wish. In return and rest you shall be saved" - Isaiah 30:15

"When was the last time you had a real day off? Ditched the 'to-do' lists. Switched off the phone. Had a lie-in. Sat in the bath until the water went cold?

"Most of us live at break-neck speed. Busy lives - work, family, friends, endless tasks - leave us with little time to sleep, never mind stopping and reflecting.

"We urgently need to learn to nurture our inner slob."

We need to affirm life, to live by practical wisdom, to . . . well . . . just live.

We need to learn to the prayer of rest, through which God puts us "in the eye of the storm," the storm's surprisingly calm center. "When all around is chaos and confusion, deep within we know stability and serenity. In the midst of intense personal struggle we are still relaxed. While a thousand frustrations seek to distract us, we remain focused and attentive" (Prayer, pg. 93). We can be of tremendous help to one another in cultivating serenity, "For the kingdom of God," St. Paul wrote to the Christians of Rome, "is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy Spirit; whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others. Let us then pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another" (Rom. 14,17-19).

Begin thinking about Friday, our weekly day of abstinence, of penance. Tomorrow is a first Friday. So, think about praying the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary and attending Mass.

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