Saturday, July 29, 2017

Living at the Core 7: Scriptural Stories on our Hearts

Living at the core means letting Scripture seep into our lives and transforming them in the process. The daily readings of the liturgical seasons provide an intentional rotation of biblical stories that apply to us personally throughout different phases of our lives since Scripture is God's living Word.

Today is the memorial of St. Martha. When I was in my early 20s and had a regular early morning Adoration, I read Joanna Weaver's Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World: Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life. 

About 13 years later I am in awe when I think about the journey of my life between now and then. At the time life felt so busy, but it seems so simple when I compare it to the context of my life now. From that phase of my life, I completed my master's program to qualify for a teaching license and began my career as an educator. Over the years I became more and more consumed with my career and I yearned for better career/family balance. Even as it became crystal clear that it was not healthy to continue living the way I was, I continued to tread water with tweaking here and there, seeing glimpses into a better way while at the same time still feeling like I was still about to drown. Nonetheless, I knew that I wanted to move beyond survival mode. I just was not sure how to get there yet, how to untangle my life and shift towards a greater sense of peace.

When I chose core as my one little word in 2015, I discovered a lot about the work I should be doing to move toward that sense of peace; however, it was not until this time about a year ago when I was in deep reflection about why a specific shift in my life felt much more challenging than I thought it should have been that I was able to pinpoint my longing for peace and silence in the midst of being a wife, mom of four, and an educator. Like the St. Augustine quote, "Thou hast made us for thyself, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee," I was realizing that in order to feel centered and grounded, I needed to find space for silence and time for prayer throughout my days.

This morning as I read the Gospel in the 5 am silence of my home, I thought back to "that book I read in Adoration" all those years ago prompting for me to search for it on Amazon. The subtitle struck me, Finding Intimacy with God in the Busyness of Life. As I was in the early phase of my vocation as a wife and mom, I was given the blessing of an anchor experience in the silence of the Adoration Chapel to think deeply about Scripture. The seed was planted that my life would be busy and that the answer to a busy life was maintaining intimacy with God. While my relationship with God was stretched thin as I held on to minimums, such as weekly Mass attendance, and I searched for a sense of balance, the answer had been provided for me years before. I just did not stop long enough to think about it. God led me though - helping me to see through my word core 2015 that even though I thought it would be about career/family balance, it was really more importantly about shifting towards a Christ-centered life, something that would take time and is still in process but ultimately is helping different areas of my life to click into place.

As I read the Gospel today, I was reminded once again of God's call to Martha, the same call that applies to each of us, "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" (Luke 10:41-42). When we stay connected to Scripture through prayer, homilies, and resources to help us apply Scripture to the contexts of our lives, we are able to live an abundant life.

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