It is usually over time and with patience that we come to see the wonderful patterns of grace, which is why it takes most of us a long time to be converted. Our focus slowly moves from an initial preoccupation with perfect actions (“first half of life” issues), to naked presence itself. The code word for that is simply “prayer,” but it became cheapened by misuse.
Jesus will often call prayer “vigilance,” “seeing,” or “being awake.” When you are aware and awakened, you will know for yourself all that you need to know. In fact, “stay awake” is the last thing Jesus says to the apostles—three or perhaps four times—before he is taken away to be killed (Matthew 26:38-45). Finally, continuing to find them asleep, he kindly but sadly says, “Sleep now and take your rest,” which might have been his resigned, forgiving statement to the church itself.
It is not that we do not want to be awake, but very few teachers have actually told us how to do that in a very practical way. We call it the teaching of contemplation.
— Richard Rohr (adapted from Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality) from Yes, and…: Daily Meditations
A Purpose For Every Moment
…every moment of our life has a purpose, that every action of ours, no matter how dull or routine or trivial it may seem in itself, has a dignity and a worth beyond human understanding. No man’s life is insignificant in God’s sight, nor are his works insignificant – no matter what the world or his neighbors or family or friends may think of them. Yet what a terrible responsibility is here. For it means that no moment can be wasted, no opportunity missed, since each has a purpose in man’s life, each has a purpose in God’s plan. Think of your day, today or yesterday. Think of the work you did, the people you met, moment by moment. What did it mean to you – and what might it have meant for God.
… For what can ultimately trouble the soul that accepts every moment of every day as a gift from the hands of God and strives always to do his will? ‘If God is for us, who can stand against us?’ Nothing, not even death, can separate us from God. Nothing can touch us that does not come from his hand, nothing can trouble us because all things come from his hand. Is this too simple, or are we just afraid really to believe it, to accept it fully and in every detail of our lives, to yield ourselves up to it in total commitment? This is the ultimate question of faith, and each must answer it for himself in the quiet of his heart and the depths of his soul. But to answer it in the affirmative is to know a peace, to discover a meaning to life that surpasses all understanding.
— Father Walter J. Ciszek, S.J. from He Leadeth Me