Think about those times in your life when you have felt inspired to something really great. Where does that inspiration come from?
The Holy Spirit. God inspires us to do great things with our lives.
----Matthew Kelly

Welcome to The Not So Perfect Catholic!

Disclaimer: I am not a theologian, just a Catholic empty-nester trying to figure it all out. The views on this blog are my own.

Being Obedient & Giving It All To God

I've always been a pretty obedient person. My siblings may disagree, but for as long as I can remember, I've tried to do the right thing. I'm definitely a rule-follower, mostly because of the fear of getting in trouble and having to pay the consequences! 

Father Burke Masters identified 2 things that are required in order to be obedient: 
1. Listen to God through prayer and Scripture
2. Ask for strength to follow His will. 

His follow-up questions to Samuel 15:16-23 really made me think about my obedience to God's will and if I'm even aware of it as I go throughout my day. I give the first part of my day to Him in prayer and Scripture...then what? Then I'm off to the races, concerned about what I have to do during the day, not paying very much attention to His will and His plan for me. 

Asking for the Grace to Accept His Will

When my husband was first diagnosed, I immediately prayed for the grace to accept His will and His plan for us. I have no idea where that came from; it wasn't a conscious thought, for sure. Some time through the year that prayer dropped. It's still in my head, but it isn't a daily prayer anymore and I haven't asked someone to pray for that for me in a while. I think I've fallen into the old routine; he's doing well and we haven't received bad news in months. I know I should pray for that grace every day, in all things I do. I'm ashamed to admit that it isn't one of my daily prayers.

What about "In-Between" Time?

Am I aware of God's will/plan throughout my day? I realize I'm blindly walking throughout my day without much thought to what HE wants me to be doing or thinking. Like I said, I give the first part of my day to Him and I pray intentions as I'm walking the dog. I also have attempted to use BAKER as my daily examen at night, but sometimes I'm just so tired that it doesn't get done. Yet, that's when I need it the most. 

What about the in-between? What about when I'm doing the mundane chores that have to be done every day? How can I give those to God? 

  • I am definitely not the most patient person in the world. My job as a school-based Speech-Language Pathologist requires patience. As retirement closes in, I find I'm becoming less patient with my little ones and that's not fair to them. One thing I can do is silently (because it's public school) say a prayer asking God to give me patience before the session begins. 
  • When I get home and there are dishes in the sink, instead of grumbling, I can thank God that my husband is here and is able to eat. 
  • When the recycling bag is full and needs to go into the bin, I can give God thanks for this earth where He has allowed us to live. 
  • While cooking supper, I can express gratitude that we have enough food to eat. 
  • Usually, after we eat, I'm the one cleaning up. Every now and then 1 of my sons (who is living with us right now) will help by clearing the table and loading the dishwasher. Cleaning the cooking utensils is usually done by me. This is the time when I can give thanks that our bellies are full, as well as giving thanks that we have running hot and cold water.
  • While driving, I can pray for the person in front of me/beside me/behind me. 
  • In the grocery store, if there's a line, I can say an Our Father or Hail Mary for the people waiting in line with me.
In addition, Fr. Mark-Mary (Franciscan Friars of the Renewal) suggests a mid-day examen. He calls it the 3x5 examen. You can see him explain it in this YouTube clip:

I think I can take 5 minutes from my lunch time to review the first part of the day. What about you? Do you have any other suggestions for remembering God's will/plan during your day?

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