Saturday of Week 34 in Ordinary Time
“Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life…Stay awake, praying at all times…”
Whether you want to admit it or not, we are creatures of habit. Habit could be a good thing, a virtue; or it could be a bad thing, a vice. Personally, I hate to admit it, but I have a lot more vices than virtues.
Various groups, psychologists, self-help gurus, all say that you can form a habit in 21 days. But have you noticed how difficult it is to form a good habit and how easy it is to form a bad one? Take my example — I used to work out 2 to 3 times a week. Never felt better or stronger during those times. Then we all know what happened and I stopped working out. No excuses, it wasn’t because of the pandemic, it wasn’t because the gym was closed; it was simply because I got lazy and fell into the routine of not working out, despite all the health benefits.
What is true for our physical well-being is doubly true for our spiritual well-being. Even more so. If we don’t guard our heart, mind and soul well, it is so easy to fall and accept what lies the world disperses and what is contrary to the truths that Jesus taught. It is so easy to fall out of the routine of prayer, the chance to listen and be in communion with our God. Prayer is like soul food that feeds our soul and keeps us safe. We find a million excuses to avoid a life of prayer, even for a few minutes a day. There are still days that I struggle with my prayer life. But I know that if I don’t return to praying daily and feed my soul spiritually, it will wither and die like a tree that is cut at the roots.
Brothers and sisters, there are so many temptations out there trying to distract us from being in communion with God. Our Heavenly Father simply wants us to develop a personal relationship with Him — like Father and child. How could we develop any relationship without spending time with each other? Praying is a way of talking to God on an intimate and personal level.
The key to developing a rich prayer life is to practice it daily until it becomes such a routine, that you cannot live without it. If you do falter, don’t get discouraged or beat yourself up (that’s what the devil wants you to do); simply pick yourself up and begin again. Because our God is there with open arms, waiting for us to turn to Him, where we will find peace, joy and rest.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)
Prayer: My most loving Lord, grant us the grace of a rich prayer life, so that we can strengthen our hearts, minds and souls against any temptations.
Thanksgiving: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of prayer. Not because You need our prayers, but because we need prayers to strengthen us, to protect us and to nourish us spiritually.