As we drag ourselves closer to the Thanksgiving Break we often think, "everything is painful, everything is tiring, everything is burdensome"--we are exhausted. Back to school time tends to be pretty merciless on all of us: mothers, fathers, teachers, those of us that work on campuses, students of all ages. While the fall brings us bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils, it's the deadlines, projects, and that thing called life that gives us quite a bruising. Many of my friends right now feel like they are just hanging on by a thread.
When we're tired, we're tempted.
When we're tired, the first thing to go is prayer.
When we're tired, we forget the love.
Yesterday was another incredibly gorgeous fall day! We decided to offer Eucharistic adoration outside from 8AM until Mass time. I dragged my reluctant feet out there and did some spiritual reading. A dear friend (who needs to submit a Friendsday post soon!!) had suggested that I read I Believe in Love. She loves this book so much that her copy is literally falling apart and the pages are practically one big highlight. I could barely get through the first few pages because it was just too beautiful and too convicting.
Here's a sample (tissues ready?)
“Filioli, my little children, abide in my love.” In thus asking you for your heart, Jesus gives you life. Love is life; it is the sun, the light, a divine warmth over our whole life. Without this love, you live a shallow life; you vegetate. Externally you do your spiritual exercises, fulfill the duties of your state in life, but if your heart is not there, life is not there. Without love, everything is painful, everything is tiring, everything is burdensome. The Cross, taken up hesitantly, is crushing; taken smilingly, by free will, and with love, it will carry you much more than you carry it. Love makes time eternal by giving a divine value to everything.
—I Believe in Love, Fr. Jean C. J. D’Elbee
How could we forget the love? How does God allow himself to be so forgettable? A relationship so easy to put on the backburner. How shallow life is without Him! And yet we choose that time and again--we opt for vegetation, our hearts--our very tired hearts, are just not in it. We drag ourselves (if we go at all) to prayer, to mass, to serve. But how effective is our service if it is missing the love?
This FriendsGiving Week I invite you (and myself) to stop, breathe, and find the love again. Abiding not avoiding. Thriving not surviving. Rest in Him. There is no "later." Later is a death sentence for our prayer lives. Friendship with God is not a nice perk for nice girls or church ladies or the saints. Friendship with God is everything.
Thank you for the friends in our lives that share truth, beauty, and goodness.
Thank you for always making our next encounter with you just one prayer away.
Thank you for loving us when we forget to love you, ourselves, and our neighbor.
Draw us into prayer.
Help us to desire quiet, desire prayer, desire love.
Help us to know we are worthy because you said so.
Give us rest.
Thank you for being a friend,
P.S. Laughter helps us take the edge off... and there is no absence of love in today's video. Enjoy.