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Lakaw is a journey is a step is a move. I love to travel around the world and this is my travel and travel gadget site. Welcome and Enjoy!

0 comments | Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Thought of the day: Unless you come to God, you'll never know the good plan He has for you.

Fr. Paul mentions something about people who seem to be so attached with work that they forget and set aside God.

I wrote something about this before.

Ora et Labora (translated as Prayer and Work) are ancient monastic values. The values are for busy people who, because of their tight schedules, have sporadically affected their time of silence and prayer.

For many of us, labour has become our existence. People see us on our feet frequently moving, or more appropriately running, like there is someone catching us up from behind. We become more of pursuers than just plain dreamers. More often than not, we were reminded by friends to take an hour off on a Sunday afternoon to chill out from a tough week of pure working.

Nonetheless we never learn. We often do this and that, this and that again and juggle time like the world would end any moment. From the Mystery of the Ordinary, the writer wits: "To stop and rest is to trust that the world will go on in an orderly fashion without my help for a few minutes or a few hours." In the defence of the workaholics, we just cannot tolerate chances. Tragedies happen when we begin to take chances. To us it seems the world would come to a halt if we do not make our moves count. Work shapes us. We love work and we abhor the idea of stopping.

“Pray and work” is the summation of the Benedictine Rule. If someone wishes to attain a dwelling place in His kingdom, he shall not reach it unless he does his share of good deeds. Prayer and work must go together. Somehow the same meaning is conveyed by the words preachers often quip: “Do your best and God will do the rest”. Time and again, we are reminded of the reality that working too much is never enough, prayer must have its share for God to emancipate His power of fulfilling the rest of the tasks.

Yet why have we in one way or another lost the grace to rest and just be still? How heavy-loaded are we exactly to hardly find a way for God to tune in perfectly the stations of our Christian lives? Not long before, observing holy days set a variety of picks: go to this prayer meeting, attend this Pastor’s talk, be on this healing mass, enjoy the worship concerts (or we even picked all) – lately, too busy we are.

When I was still in the Philippines, a close friend of mine gave me a book “The Purpose Driven Life”. It is a book so many are slowly being touched I think. Students read it on jeepney rides and businessmen browse the pages inside café houses. I turned to the page that carries the question “What makes God smile?” The author enumerates few things. I want to focus on the last two.

First: God smiles when we praise and thank him personally. God loves it when praises and adoration are expressed for Him. We know very well that prayer is a way of praising and adoring God. Prayer is the way to His heart. Prayer, spoken or unspoken, brings miracles. Second: God smiles when we use our abilities. God wants us all to be the designed humans He made us to be – make love with your husbands and wives, plant crops and eat, watch this TV program, read books, go for a walk, play basketball. As the author puts it, “God said that it is time to get on with life”. Stated differently, do what is humane and wholesome.

Now we pondered how God has viewed our being individuals whose moment of stillness has not been so apparently fulfilled. The line “Be still, and know that I am God” really means, in its complete contemporary biblical setting, “Cease, relax, Shut Up! Spare time for me and know that I am God”. To bring this moment to perfection is in fact Saint Benedict’s perpetual prayer.

We characterize our lives with the words: doctor, computer programmer, professor, engineer, manager, designer, architect, accountant – all presuppose that accomplishment means doing. God smiles when we work. God smiles when we use the gifts of talents He conferred to us. As much as He wants us to laugh, to be ourselves and benefit from all His other creations, to enjoy every fraction of our existence in a sacramental manner, He also wants us to rest and pray.

Then we laze around in joy at what we have done, how we have prayed. This, we know, we believe, would make Him smile even more.

Photos taken inside Pius XII Catholic Church, Brookings South Dakota.

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