way affect our lives. We watch the news, read the paper, and become anxious about things in the world Just as often we forget about these pressing events within a week. Yet we are also anxious and worried about the real day to day events that touch our lives.
What are you anxious and worried about today? Are you anxious and worried about your job or children's education? How about your bills or the stock market? Are you anxious and worried about your transportation or the election? What else are you anxious and worried about today? Which of those things have you brought to Jesus in prayer today?
I have a hard time believing that Mary was lazy or aloof in regard to the world around her. Rather, she put first things first. The food could wait one more minute. The preparations wouldn't be ruined if they were neglected for five more minutes as she spent time with Jesus. In fact, the work she does after may be even better. Her heart will be at peace, not anxious. She may do a better job because she will no longer have worries troubling her heart but will instead have love, Jesus, in her heart. Mary put relationships first, most especially her relationship with the Lord.
We live in an anxious and worried world. We live in a world that sees more value in production than relationships. Our culture encourages efficiency over beauty and construction over conversation. That is why we text rather than call but never say, "I miss her now that she's gone, I wish I could just get one more text from Grandma." No, we miss the person, the smile, the conversation, the touch. Martha lived in a similar culture and needed to be gently reminded that people are more important than production.
How could your life change if you (and I) were more like Mary and less like Martha? Would you find more peace if you spent a few more minutes sitting at His feet and listening to Him speak? Would your daily routine benefit if it began with a few minutes invested in your relationship with Jesus? Would your work find more meaning if you first spent time talking to the Lord about the work ahead of you? Would your family be less anxious and worried about the world around them if listening to Jesus was a daily event, a daily conversation? Would our relationships with others improve if our relationship with Him improved?
Jesus helps Martha, and us, to see that He must come first in our lives. He must be a priority each day, every day, even in the most menial events. He wants to be in our lives. He wants us to listen to Him and He wants to listen to us. He wants a relationship. That is the better part and we should not allow anyone to take it from us nor rob ourselves of it. That is the better part of our day and our life.
St. Mary, and St. Martha, pray for us and help us to chose the better part.
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How to get better at prayer.
- Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
- Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go. Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
- Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days. Mark off the days on your calendar. If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
- Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him. I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development. God is the same way. Spend time praying as best you can. Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation. Don't forget to listen
- Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life. It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
- Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer Primer, Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer, Time for God, The Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation.