Children of Light Applying “Best Practices”

Children of Light Applying “Best Practices”

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In his letter to Timothy (2nd reading today), St. Paul appeals to everyone to PRAY, PRAY PRAY. For what? Let’s see …

Beloved: First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity.

Then St. Paul puts an exclamation point on his exhortation …

It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.

Don’t we all want that “quiet and tranquil life”? Don’t we know that consternation – anger and argument – is not the “way of God”? So, what is “the way” into this quiet – anger and argument free – tranquil life? St. Paul names it … it is a life of “devotion and dignity.” Devotion in the high priority, quality time we give to Our Lord. Dignity in living the “high life” as ambassadors for Christ; living as authentic and, therefore, inspiring children of God in all virtue, morality, principles and ethics.

Why is it that this quiet and tranquil life can evade us? Why does it seem we live, rather, in a busy and chaotic and, at times … a life filled with anger and arguments?

There is a line from the Book of Amos (1st reading today) that can be very revealing …

“When will the new moon be over,” you ask, “that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat?

What’s going on here? The people are being called out for their hypocrisy. While they represent themselves as religious, they are, in reality, impatient with the practices of their faith … wishing them to quickly cease so they can get on to “more important” worldly matters. They are NOT “devotional,” nor are they living a dignified life as ambassadors – witnesses – of God. Instead, their “high priority,” over God, is their businesses, etc.. Therefore, they are prone – exposed – to that noisy, chaotic, peace-less existence, as they remain disconnected to THE SOURCE of true peace and tranquility.

In Luke’s Gospel (today’s Gospel), Jesus commends the “worldly” steward for being prudent and astute in his dealings with worldly matters. Then comes the line directed at all of us …

“For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.”

In other words, Jesus is saying, imagine if the “children of light” put the same kind of energy and creativity and use of “best practices” they put into running their business, etc. … into working toward their own salvation and the salvation of others; into building the Kingdom of God?!?! IMAGINE!!!

The bottom line is this: We are called to build the Kingdom of God with the “best of ourselves” while using the very “best practices.” God wants all of that energy, creativity and “astuteness” we tend to give to our worldly affairs, while we tend to look at our watches, hoping the Mass doesn’t run too long.

“Best practices” must begin with our faith life. We cannot remain deeply devoted only to our worldly affairs, while minimalists when it comes to our daily devotional life. And, realize this … All of the daily devotional practices add up to, maybe, a half hour to an hour … tops. Okay, you may have lots of children, but don’t you tell your spouse, at times, “Honey, you watch the kids while I run to the store”? Maybe try a similar line: “Honey, you watch the kids while I go (a prayer area or “God Cave” you set up) and spend a few minutes with Dad (Abba).

 

Best Practices for the Devotional Life

Here, I will outline the foundational “best practices” for the devotional life. All of these are included in the book I wrote, entitled, “United States Grace Force Prayer Book.” You can get your copy HERE.

GO WEAPONS HOT

The devotional life begins by being “plugged into” the Divine Life. “Go Weapons Hot” is a military command that means to make whatever preparations are necessary so that when you pull the trigger, something happens. In spiritual terms, are we using live ammunition or are we firing blanks? In other words, are we making the preparations necessary to ensure that our efforts to combat evil and rescue souls are ignited by the fire of the Holy Spirit?

Go Weapons H.O.T. = Humility, Obedience and Trust.

  • Humility: Self-forgetting … Wake up each day saying, “How am I going to lift others up today?” “Who do I need to pray for today?”
  • Obedience: Loyalty, adhere to ALL Church teachings, legitimate authority
  • Trust: Believe in the supernatural power of God, believe in and protect your “State of Grace”

DAILY PRAYER

OTHER BEST PRACTICES

  • Frequent Confession: Keep your Confessions no more than one month apart
  • Eucharistic Adoration (Dedicate some time each week for Adoration, even if just before or after Mass)
  • Fasting (Fasting is a way in which the Lord gives the underdog victory)
  • Marian Consecration
  • Wear the Brown Scapular (or Scapular Medal)
  • Extravagant Use of Sacramentals and Devotions


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