How do we spend the gift of time?

A young boy was asked by his mother to tell me what he liked (best, I guess) about my book From Agnostic to Deacon, A Story of Hope and Conversion. He said “the words.” I guess the mother either thought he misunderstood the question or wasn’t being very specific; so, she repeated the question. He again said “the words.” I thought to myself, he may become an author one day!

Speaking of words, one that keeps coming back to me lately is ‘time.’ Time is something we can spend, waste or kill. We can’t buy, rent, lease or sell it. It’s precious. We never have enough of it, which we call spare time. Time seems to slip through our fingers. I liken time to the little white highway lane markers. The older we get, the faster those markers seem to go by! If we don’t get around to things, we say we’ll do it sometime.

Now, for purposes of this blog, I’m not going to get too hung up on whether some of these terms should be hyphenated or whether or not they should be two words.

We refer to time in any number of ways from our meals, the military, music or musical terms, seasons, times of day or year, our work, and even entertainment: Meals: lunchtime, dinnertime, suppertime. Military or music: marks time (march in place without moving forward). Musical terms: ragtime, six-eight time, keeps time. Seasons of the year: wintertime, summertime, peak time (for leaves). Times of day: naptime, tea time, nighttime, mealtime, bedtime, daytime, noontime, playtime. Times of year: Daylight Savings Time, Christmastime. Work expressions: straight time (as opposed to overtime), lead time, flextime (to work a flexible schedule), full-time, part-time, break time, drive time. If we work too much, we need some downtime! If you watch the TV show Home Improvement, there’s something known as ‘tool time.’ Some other entertainment terms are: show time, airtime, prime time, (somebody hit the) bigtime. Some other ways we use the word time are: face time, lifetime, meantime, pastime, wartime, peacetime, and many others.

In the Bible in Matthew 10:39 we read: “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.” Part of what Jesus is asking us is how we use our time. Let’s think about this for a moment. Do we help others or do we only think of ourselves? We must strike a balance between caring for our own needs and those of others, between work and play/rest. How we spend our time is often an indication of our priorities, and sometimes the priority must be for ourselves. It’s wise to pray and decide how the time God gave us is spent.

Advertisements

Intro to the Our Father

The Our Father Prayer

Our Father who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive those who trespass against us;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

I am going to unpack the Our Father (OF) prayer piece by piece in the following posts. The Our Father is such a familiar prayer, I think at times we don’t always stop to think about what we’re saying. I know my mind sometimes wanders, and maybe yours does too. I hope these posts bring more meaning (for you) to this beautiful prayer.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

On Patience

There are so many definitions for the word patience. One synonym, longsuffering, comes to mind and describes it very well. We suffer in silence without retaliating, showing our feelings, getting riled up or angry. If you ask God for patience, He’ll give you the opportunity to practice it, so be careful what you ask! You just might get more than you bargained for. I’m not saying not to pray for patience; just be prepared to practice it.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

What is Entombment?

I wrote a blog post back in April 2015 entitled “What is Entombing Me?” about Jesus and Lazarus and their being in a tomb. It talked about how the Father called Jesus forth from His tomb. I also described how I underwent a meditation about pretending I was Lazarus in a tomb where it was cold and damp. As Jesus called to Lazarus ‘come out,’ so we can ask His help to come out of our tombs. When we meditate on these scriptures about Jesus and Lazarus, I hope we can start to see how all of the wounds and baggage that we carry can entomb us and hold us back from living as Jesus wants us to, to be free of what entombs us.

Entombment means being bound up, confined by, enslaved by, under duress, or emotionally imprisoned by something. It is being overwhelmed by it to the point that it seriously limits us in our ability to feel joy, interact with others, and even go about our daily routine. Depression is one kind of entombment, but so is unresolved anger (whether at God or others).

What do we do about it? Once we recognize this state of entombment in ourselves:
First of all, we pray. We ask for wisdom and enlightenment to see the situation for what it truly is. Then we pray for guidance on how to handle it. One of the options is to seek out a reputable source of help, whether it is a Christian counselor, a spiritual director or mentor, or—last but not least—the Bible. Of utmost importance, particularly when we feel afflicted, is to talk to God even more often than we already do. If you don’t talk to God (or pray), then it’s a good time to start. God is available 24/7 (all the time), you won’t get a busy signal, and He has a toll-free number!

The Bible has many passages that are useful for meditation. One of my favorites is Psalm 23: “The Lord is My Shepherd. I shall not want.” Please see my meditations on this Psalm from February 2015. You can find it fairly quickly if you go to the right sidebar and scroll down until you see “Older Posts” and select the month. NOTE: You may find more entombment posts under April 2015.

Another good one is Psalm 139 taken from the New Revised Standard Version. It has a very intimate account of God’s nearness:

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.

I may do a separate post in the future with a list of Bible verses for help with entombment.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Unemployment Entombment Resource

A friend of mine gave me a copy of a pamphlet from Our Sunday Visitor called Employment Rosary. Please click to view. https://www.osvparish.com/Shop/PDFs%5CP1144_web.pdf.The first two paragraphs is how the pamphlet begins. Below that and the ‘closing prayer,’ there is a brief description of the mystery, then a prayer followed by a meditation. To find this helpful, you don’t have to know how to pray the rosary or be Catholic. I encourage you to check it out!

“Prayer has power. Whether we pray for ourselves or intercede on behalf of another, prayer helps hold together what seems in danger of breaking down in our society, our families, our spirits, and ourselves.

These are frightening times; any one of us can suddenly find ourselves out of work, or unable to meet bills and obligations because a family member’s paycheck has vanished. When we are overwhelmed by loss, displacement, anxiety, and very real fear, prayer brings us back in balance.

CLOSING PRAYER:

Lord Jesus, help us to remember that a thousand ages in your sight are as an evening past – no more than a “watch in the night” (Ps 90:4). Days begin and days end, and no situation goes on forever. Help us to endure hardships in the trust that these difficult days, too, will pass. In you we find infinite understanding, infinite consolation, infinite hope. Your angels say, “Be not afraid.” Help us to remember that your time of trial ended with the tearing of the Temple veil and the rolling back of the stone; our time of trial, too, will end in hope.

Through you, with you, in you, there is nothing to be afraid of. Amen.”

Excerpt(s) from Employment Rosary © Our Sunday Visitor Publishing. 1-800-348-2440. http://www.osv.com. Used by permission. No other use of this material is authorized. To order, please contact Our Sunday Visitor.

Note: You may copy and paste this post into another document and print it for personal use only. (Please see Site Rules for any other purpose.)

Blog copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

Making Good Decisions

Decision making, at times, can be tough. Sometimes we think the decision is easy, but is it really? If it’s something that will affect us significantly—for instance a job change or getting married–it would be a good idea to not be too hasty, not let our emotions decide for us.

Not too long ago–after having a good job interview and what seemed like a good fit–I sat down and made a paper list. I labelled one side pros and the other cons. After exploring both sides thoroughly, it was obvious to me that the cons outweighed the pros. Also, I decided that I probably couldn’t live with some of the cons I listed. Now, it turns out that I wasn’t even offered the job. But, had I accepted it without thinking it through by making an emotional decision, I most likely would have regretted it and had to look for something else.

Some questions that might be helpful to consider in our decisions are:

– How do the individual elements/issues affect my values, my lifestyle? Are they in line or not?

– What are my priorities?

– How will this decision affect my family, my health, my future?

So, for these bigger decisions that can significantly affect us as well as those we love, making a list might be a wise choice. I would also strongly encourage prayer and involving the Holy Spirit in those decisions.  It can help prevent making a bad decision that we’ll regret later.

Copyright © 2015 by Theresa M. Williams

 

Prayer of St. Gertrude the Great

A prayer to release many souls from Purgatory each time it is said and which was extended to include living sinners as well.

Eternal Father, I offer You the most precious blood of thy Divine Son, Jesus, in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the universal church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen.