I frequently remember the gist of a sermon I heard one day about integrating prayer in and throughout your day. A wealthy Business person and a poor Farmer, died at the same time. At the gates of Heaven both persons had their lives reviewed; and St. Peter told the Farmer to step right in. The Business person, was told they would have to do pennance before admittance. The Business person asked why the Farmer was getting preferential treatment, when she herself actually donated money regularly to the church and attended Church services weekly. St. Peter said the Farmer prayed and offered more to the Lord, than almost anyone else. Upon rising, St. Peter said, the Farmer gave thanks to the Lord, and offered all of his labor for that day, in reparation for the sins against the Lord. At noontime, the Farmer knelt down in the field and took a moment to pray and check in with the Lord, again offering all of his toils for the Lord. In the evening before bed, the Farmer knelt down before retiring, thanked the Lord for the day, for his health and the gift of work, and said some additional prayers. St. Peter said to the Business person, “so when you thought, that the Farmer gave little to the Lord, and prayed little, the Farmer actually made his whole day of work, about the Lord. Now repose yourself to pennance before entering the Kingdom.
Image above is of St. Therese of Lisieux, at about age 15
My sister told me her husband used to kneel, in prayer every night before bed. This action reminds me of the Farmer kneeling before the Lord in the field. Kneeling in prayer, a simple action, can focus our intention and show great adoration to the Lord; but how often do we do such simple behaviors?
The actions of focussing on the Lord, doing pennance and reparations for the sins against our Lord, are not incompatible with living our lives. Living life with an interior focus of an imitation of the Lord and Mary, is actually what our lives are about, what they are meant for. A life of Prayer to the Lord, is not an abandonment or intrusion into our everyday responsibilities, it is really being acccountable for our gifts, performing our work, with a higher purpose. Our proper attitude and behaviors daily incorporate our life’s activities in the imitation of the way our Lord, and Mary, lived their lives; our highest calling. St Therese of Liseux lived her life in such a manner, called her “Little Way”. Here is a 1 minute clip of some Carmelite Brothers describing Therese’s Little Way.
Prayerful life, is a “God Mindfulness Life”, anchored by thought and actions throughout our day. It is a life of acceptance and gratitude for the gifts bestowed on us, maximizing their use for the Love and good of others, all the time! Fiat!
To learn more about St Therese of Lisieux, check out her book “Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower) [The Authorized English Translation of Therese’s Original Unaltered Manuscripts]” available on Amazon.