Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Live Today Well, Chapter 10...
But we press on. :-) Chapter 10 of our journey together though "Live Today Well" focuses on retiring for the night, and detaching ourselves from earthly worries in favor of an abandonment to God's Will and Providence. So, what exactly does this mean to St. Francis de Sales?
When we ready for for bed, we are faced with our last opportunity to live that particular day well. Man, I have been screwing this up my whole life. :0 I'm usually all absorbed in what to-do's from my list will carry over to tomorrow and busily worrying about those things.
"St. Francis speaks of the need to be attentive - to engage in conscious thinking about things that matter in a way that would otherwise not happen naturally. As with all progress in the good life, this, too, takes some effort, especially at the end of the day, after our minds have been focused on so many other matters."
Whew, he does understand. :-) So, we're doing our very best to redirect our attention:
"To facilitate this spiritual attentiveness, St. Francis suggests that we associate it with the nightly routine of undressing...in this way, the spiritual merges more easily with the material, and we learn to divinize even this ordinary need."
I like this. I like attaching spiritual significance to mundane, everyday tasks. When I was in my early 20's, I discerned whether or not I was called to the religious life. Obviously, we know how that ultimately turned out ;-), but one of the appealing things to me about religious life was (and remains) how each small thing in their everyday lives are dedicated to God. As laypeople though, we can have that too, if we are attentive to St. Francis is sharing with us here. Even the act of putting on our pj's can be a time to turn our minds to God and dedicate that time to Him.
"We should always try to fall asleep with some good thought."
I'm usually falling asleep thinking something that is anxiety-inducing. And you know what's worse?
"If we awaken during the night, we will stir up our heart immediately with these words: 'At midnight someone shouted: The groom is here! Come out and greet him.' (Matt. 25:6)."
*solidarity fist bump*
When I wake up in the middle of the night, I have to consciously turn my thoughts away from things that worry me. Because at 3 am? Those things seem a QUADRILLION times worse than they do during the light of day. Now, I doubt I'll remember this exact Scripture verse, but that's not really the point. We should try and turn our thoughts to the fact that God loves us and will always take care of us and our worries.
"Psychologically, going to sleep invites us to let go of the cares and concerns of the day in order to get some rest. Spiritually, it calls us to let go of our dreams and desires, in the faith-based recognition that God's care for us is greater than anything we seek in this life."
Soothing, yes? I have endeavored to do this for a long time, and will re-up my resolve on it after reading this. I think that this statement sums things up nicely:
"Theological thinking does not happen easily during the day, let alone in the fitful hours of late night or early morning. Buf if we can attune our senses at these times to the meaningfulness of God's manifestations at similar times - his birth and deal and Resurrection - we open ourselves to the experience of divine grace and the power to overcome our deepest fears."
I related very much to the examples in this chapter. As a person who struggles with anxiety, the late night (and *early morning*, THANK YOU, glad I'm not the only one who feels this way about the morning! :0) moments can be when it's toughest to focus our thoughts in a positive direction. This chapter was a good reminder to me to keep vigilant on this.
If you can believe it, we only have 4 chapters left! And we're now moving into a new section called "Sacred Moments." For the next 4 weeks, we'll be discussing prayer, the Mass, the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and practicing virtues. Perfect for the end of Lent/beginning of Easter, yes?
What did you all think of Chapter 10?