Thursday, January 28, 2010

Fifteen Minutes to Sainthood

A friend emailed me this quote from Teresa of Avila: (Thanks, Matt!)

"Give me a person who has fifteen minutes of mental (interior) prayer daily, and I will give you a saint."

"For mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with him who we know loves us."

This is from the same saint who gave us the quote in my sidebar, to the effect that married people, because of their vocation, must understand that their spiritual progress will be slow. But they shouldn't beat themselves up; they should be "cheerful and free and not neglect recreation."

I get upset with myself and my life when I don't spend the time I should in Bible study, prayer and ministry. But I have gotten better at drawing near to God in my spare moments, in directing my thoughts and interior words toward Him who I know loves me, especially when I feel unloved and unlovable, or depressed and overwhelmed. Don't think I'm up to 15 minutes a day total yet! But I have been surprised at how sustaining those mental "glances" or moments of listening or just being with Him, even for a few seconds, can be. And five minutes of resting body and mind, "floating" in God's presence, has helped me get through more than one tough afternoon.

She continues, "The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything."

I do desire to please God in everything, but fall so short so often. Too frequently, I aim to please myself in my activities. I think much instead of loving much. So I am pondering on doing "that which best stirs you to love," because honestly, I need to give more thought to this question.

But I love the 15 minutes as a goal. Fifteen minutes of "intimate sharing" with the One who knows me best and loves me anyway. I can try for that!

1 comment:

Kerry said...

Thank you for posting this, Jeanne. A much needed encouragement today. :)