August 18, 2015

Prayer and Self-Care

(The following is excerpted from a post entitled, "In God's Time," by Michele Quigley over at Elizabeth Foss's blog, "In the Heart of My Home.")

You must pray. Daily and if at all possible, first thing. It can be tempting to allow the busyness and distractions of life to encroach on your time alone with God and I know it can sometimes feel like you are just too busy for a regular prayer time. The truth is, the busier you are the more you need it.

Mothers in particular can struggle with this. It feels selfish to take that time alone with God but taking time to nourish your relationship with God isn't selfishness, it's self-care and there a very big difference. By nature we are self-focused beings and that isn't an accident. While it has been distorted by sin, it is actually intended for our good and properly focused can be a path to growing in holiness. "Love your neighbor as yourself" assumes that we will love ourselves.

Not in an egotistical way but in the way that God does. Desiring the highest and best good for us, that of union with Him and eternal life. That is self-care.

Selfishness and vanity on the other hand eat away at the soul. They can never be satisfied and they leave us wanting more of the same all the while becoming angry and bitter about what we do not have and cannot do. Self-care, being in relationship with God and nourishing that relationship as the primary one in our lives, fills us with love and overflows into our lives. We want more yes but we want God and we want others to know Him too. It inspires our actions and thinking and helps us to live as children of the light.

You can't give what you don't have. Oh sure, you can serve others for a time while ignoring your interior life but eventually you will burn out. All the saints knew this, they knew how important it was to nourish their interior life and it was only through grace that they were able to do all the things they did --that they were able to love so much. Certainly our Lord Himself set the example for us in this, taking to time to pray in solitude regularly.

(Excerpted from a post entitled, "In God's Time," by Michele Quigley over at Elizabeth Foss's blog, "In the Heart of My Home.")

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