St. Faustina, being a member of a religious order, typically had many opportunities to pray throughout the day, and many of these times of prayer led to profound encounters and conversations with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Once, though, she was allowed to visit her dying mother back at home and while there she was overburdened by so many family and friends who wanted to visit with her. Her time for prayer greatly diminished because she was so busy tending to her family needs. She tried several times during her time at home to sneak away for some conversation with the Lord, but each time her family demanded her attention. After her return to the convent, she wrote this in her diary:
“When I entered the chapel to say goodnight to the Lord before retiring, and apologized for having talked so little to Him when I was at home, I heard a voice within my soul, I am very pleased that you had not been talking with Me, but were making My goodness known to souls and rousing them to love me.“
A few things to point out from this brief entry:
– St. Faustina was too busy to spend her preferred amount of time in prayer. The Lord saw her busyness and he understood. In fact, not only did he understand, but he was pleased that she didn’t avoid her duty so that she could pray. It was more important for St. Faustina to be attentive to the demands of her family than to spend huge amounts of time in prayer. Being attentive to her family was transformed into a type of prayer to the Lord.
– She still took time to pray. The first line: “When I entered the chapel…” Yes, she was very busy, but she still took time to pray. While she was home, she doesn’t apologize for NOT talking to the Lord, but for talking so little to him. She spoke to the Lord every day.
– She made the Lord’s goodness known and she roused her family to love him. While performing her duty, she helped others know the glory of God.
These three things may be helpful to anyone who struggles to find time to pray in the midst of a busy world, one which tends to place too many burdens on our shoulders. These three things will help the overburdened Christian discover that the Lord takes pleasure in our efforts to love him:
1. Always perform your duty with diligence, even if it means spending less than the preferred amount of time with the Lord.
2. Take time to pray everyday. Finding time is difficult; taking time is less difficult. Begin or finish the day with prayer and speak to the Lord for brief periods of time throughout the day.
3. While performing your duty, reveal to others the glory of God. Rouse others to love him more, simply by the way you attend to their needs.
A sermon from this morning about St. Martha in this passage (Luke 10:38-42):
Jesus entered a village
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak.
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving?
Tell her to help me.”
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things.
There is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”