For just over 9 years I’ve been making a holy hour on Wednesday nights in my parish’s adoration chapel. I must admit I don’t always feel like it’s the holiest of hours, but it always bears fruit. Sometimes I struggle to stay awake or to stay focused. Sometimes my prayer is deep and intimate. Sometimes is scattered and distracted. Sometimes it is just silent, simple “being” with Jesus.
I usually bring my bible and Magnificat with me and often another book. Last week I brought Mother Teresa: Her Essential Wisdom edited by Carol Kelly-Gangi (c. 2006, Fall River Press). I have been reading it slowly over a very extended period of time. As I was praying, I thought that sharing some of her wisdom would be enjoyed by all. So I pass along today for your thought and prayer those things that struck me in her words (in no particular order).
Love has no other message but its own. Every day we try to live out Christ’s love in a very tangible way, in every one of our deeds. If we do any preaching, it is done with deeds not with words. That is our witness to the gospel. (p. 15)
It is easy to smile at people outside your own home. It is so easy to take care of the people that you don’t know well. It is difficult to be thoughtful and kind and to smile and be loving to your own in the house day after day, especially when we are tired and in a bad temper or bad mood. We all have these moments and that is the time that Christ comes to us in a distressing disguise. (p. 37)
Be faithful to the time spent in prayer and make sure that at least half of your prayer is spent in silence. This will bring you close to Jesus. If you deepen your prayer life you will grow in holiness and obtain many graces for the souls entrusted to your care. Deepen your love for one another by praying for each other and by sharing thoughts and graces you have received in prayer and reading. (p. 54)
You can pray while you work. Work doesn’t stop prayer and prayer doesn’t stop work. It requires only that small raising of the mind to him: I love you God, I trust you. I believe in you, I need you now. Small things like that. They are wonderful prayers. (p. 55)
Joy is one of the best safeguards against temptation. The devil is a carrier of dust and dirt and he uses every opportunity to throw what he has at us. But a joyful heart protects us from this dirt. That is because Jesus is there in our joy. Jesus takes full possession of our soul when we surrender to him joyfully. (p. 74)
Joy comes to those who in a sense forget themselves and become totally aware of the other. (p. 75)
Why did God make some of us men and others women? Because a woman’s love is one image of the love of God, and a man’s love is another image of God’s love. Both are created to love, but each in a different way. Woman and man complete each other, and together show forth God’s love more fully than either can do it alone. (p. 111)
Lord, grant that I may always bear in mind the very great dignity of my vocation, and all its responsibilities. Never let me dishonor it by being cold, or unkind, or impatient. (p. 115)
In closing I leave you with this beautiful prayer. Would you join me in praying it today?
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me the, O Holy Spirit, that I always me by holy.
Amen. (p. 14)