Wow. Talk about pricking the conscience. Think of all of the ways that we subtly or maybe not so subtly communicate with our words, thoughts, or actions that we believe that setting time aside for God is not the best use of our time.
Maybe we complain when Mass goes a little longer than usual. Maybe we drag our feet going to Mass or wait in the car or hang out in the gathering space as long as we can so we don’t have to sit in the church too long before Mass starts. Or we relegate daily time in prayer to a very low place on our list of priorities. Or we spend little time on spiritual reading or learning more about our faith. How often we feel put out when there is a holy day of obligation in the middle of the week (somehow we deem it ludicrous that the Church would make Mass an obligation – i.e. “I have way too many obligations to come to a Mass of obligation!”).
Fr. McTeigue goes on to lament, “The irony is that we spend time like drunkards when it comes to the world (e.g., television, social media, etc.) and hoard it like misers when it comes to God.”
The good Father continues, “So many of us, it seems, expect so little of God, expect even less for ourselves, and desire so much from the world. Do we act as if we believe God has anything good to say or offer to us? Do we act as if we believe that we’re made for glory? Do we act as if the world can never satisfy us? Those questions need to be asked and answered if we’re to retrieve what God and the Church teach us about Sunday worship and Sabbath rest.”
I have yet to take a spiritual retreat or to truly seek God in prayer where afterward I felt disappointed or that I had wasted my time. Whenever I offer myself to God I find that I have received something far more beautiful and good than what little I have offered.
As the prophet Jeremiah came to realize – Lord, “among all the wisest of the nations, and in all their domains, there is none like you” (Jer. 10:7b). Of all of the activities and pursuits of our days, there are none better than those moments we intentionally give to God.
Let’s stop denying ourselves of the most meaningful, important, healing, deeply joyful, and awe-inspiring moments of our day and week. God has something great to give you.