“If a tiny spark of God’s love already burns within you, do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out. Keep the stove tightly shut so that it will not lose its heat and grow cold. In other words, avoid distractions as well as you can. Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter.” ~ St. Charles Borromeo
The above excerpt is from a sermon from St. Charles Borromeo in today’s Office of Readings (Nov 4, Saturday of week 30 in Ordinary Time) as on the Universalis site. The entire sermon not only spoke to me personally, but also seemed timely as it fit with a discussion my 15 year-old son and I had last night on our way back from Eucharistic Adoration.
The closest Adoration to our house on Fridays is roughly 35 minutes away in either direction. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to make the drive alone (since my wife was watching our grandson), so I made the decision easier for my son by promising him a shake from McDonald’s on the way back.
Earlier this year, we were going together regularly, and it took no extra incentive for him back then. For the sake of staying on topic, I won’t get into that for now.
Lately, my son has been busy with cross country, school work, and youth ministry activities, so he hadn’t gone in a while. So I figured I’d keep our stay short.
It seems praying can be a bit like running; you slack off in some areas of discipline, you usually don’t just jump back in where you left off.
I work nights (when most people are sleeping), and I’ve found myself busier than usual lately as well; squeezing in prayer between intervals of sleep, phone calls, emails, and other errands.
Anyways, with our Bibles, rosaries, and spiritual reading in hand, there we were again together, yet each of us very much alone with our Lord.
After wrapping up my own prayer time, I asked my son if he was ready to leave; but he expressed that he wanted a little more time to finish up.
On our way home he was telling me how his prayer time was really good this day, and he was in no hurry to leave.
I told him, “Me too!”
He told me how he felt that God gave him the grace to want to pray and the ability to stay focused in his prayer time.
Again I replied, “Me too!”
We talked about our daily prayer time lately, and how at times it’s seems our biggest struggle is with distraction; and how this day was good for both of us.
How we need to make a conscious effort to simply put everything aside, and respond to Jesus’ call for us to spend quality alone time with Him. And what better way than to sit in His presence at Eucharist Adoration–to speak with Him or just listen.
As Christians we’re called to share freely what God gives us and He always seems to give us back far more than we share. Yet, if we’re to deliver the water, He continually reminds us that we need to spend plenty of time at the well.
That apart from Him we can do nothing–not even pray.
We need to… I need to continually feed the flame that He lit, and fill up with Christ if I’m going to fulfill the duties for my state in life and bring Him to others.
And because of His incomprehensible love for us, we can be sure He wants that quality alone time together far more than we do.
“If in our time Christians must be distinguished above all by the ‘art of prayer’, how can we not feel a renewed need to spend time in spiritual converse, in silent adoration, in heartfelt love before Christ present in the Most Holy Sacrament?” ~ St. John Paul II, Ecclesia De Eucharistia