Thursday, January 6, 2011


Give a quick and honest reply – what is the FIRST thing that comes into your mind when you hear the following question:

What are the priorities in your life?

Was number one – far above all others – “To get myself into heaven.”

Was number two, “Two get those I love, especially those for whom I am responsible into heaven.”

If not it is time to stop and prioritize.

Recently a gentleman came up to me and asked, “What are your priorities for the parish?”

I said with no hesitancy, “The brick parking lot!”

He looked a little distressed and asked, “Really? Nothing spiritual?”

I covered well. “Oh! Spiritual! In that case . . .” But I already knew that a retreat was in order.

I know, I know, you don’t have time for a retreat and can’t find a spiritual director and your stack of spiritual books are collecting dust for want of time and motivation to sit down with them during some quality time.

But stop today. Just for 5 minutes, especially if you can get to a church and sit – just for five minutes before the Blessed Sacrament. Are you becoming what you hoped you would become when you took vows – became a parent – took that job – started that ministry – began this friendship – engaged this project – set aside that time – or has your brick parking lot (as important as it is – and it is) sliding into the number one spot? Are you loving first what should be first even if the issues are not as pressing? How does that manifest itself? Would others know it? If it does, great, today you had 5 minutes of self affirmation. If not – RETREAT from what you are doing, regroup, realign – refocus – and then step back into the business of life with your priorities straight.


Anonymous said...

I recently had a health scare, and while I was waiting for the results of the medical tests, I pondered the "too much stuff" I would be leaving behind.

Letting go of "things" is a spiritual problem. Now I have two things to work on: the spiritual problem and the need to clean out my house.

Michelle said...

There's a wonderful book by an Anglican bishop called "Do Nothing to Change Your Life" - at one point he handed out egg timers at a local train station with the suggestion that people take 3 minutes and just STOP - perhaps even spend the time in prayer.

It's a gutsy thing to do...there's a great reflection by Karl Rahner, SJ about stepping out as a regular practice (out of print, alas).

Anna B. said...

mea culpa!