So How's Your Interior Life?

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If someone paid me a million dollars per week to not be snippy with my husband or lose my temper with my toddler ever, I think I could do it. And so could most of us I think.:)

When it comes to getting through the little (and bigger) challenges of everyday life as God calls us to, maybe we just lack incentive sometimes. 🙂 I think that a major part of the kind of incentive that I, for one, need, is a strong interior life. For me, having a strong relationship with God is a constant reminder of how worthy He is of my love, my faithfulness, and also my sacrifice. I shouldn’t need a million dollars to help me seek holiness in my daily life.

Big talk. Tough walk.

While writing this blog post tonight, I stumbled upon this helpful passage on Wikipedia (of all places) about the concept of the interior life. The passage quotes Blessed John Paul II:

The interior life is “a life which seeks God in everything, a life of prayer and the practice of living in the presence of God. It connotes intimate, friendly conversation with Him, and a determined focus on internal prayer versus external actions, while these latter are transformed into means of prayer. According to John Paul II, Jesus’ statement ‘without me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5) is a truth that ‘constantly reminds us of the primacy of Christ and, in union with him, the primacy of the interior life and of holiness.” 

My interior life hasn’t been what it should be for a little while now. Part of that certainly has to do with the fact that I had a baby about nine weeks ago, with all of the transition and upheaval that generally accompanies precious new babies. And that’s OK. 🙂 Not that I haven’t been praying a lot. I think that most mothers with new babies do quite a lot of that. It’s just that I haven’t kept God quite at the center of my life as much as He has asked me to.

These last weeks–and honestly, the past 48 hours in particular, have reminded me that I can’t hold things together by myself. Not even a little bit. The verse in John 15:5, roughly translated to my life, says, “I need God’s grace just to get out of bed in the morning.” And I do, most days. Probably every day.

Even though many days, I ask God to just help me make it through the day, I know I’m called to more. I’m glad I’m called to more. I don’t want to just “make it” through motherhood and parenting young children in this season of my life. I want to do an amazing job! And coming to know, love and serve God more fully each day in my vocation–growing in holiness–is part of that.

I think that God has a different spiritual walk planned for each of us. I think that the passage above does a good job of generalizing what a dynamic interior life looks likes: intimate, friendly conversation with Him, with a determined focus on internal prayer versus external actions…these latter are transformed into means of prayer.”

Big talk. Tough walk.

It’s hard to remember I’m trying to be a holy woman when I’m about to explode with frustration at Gabriel after a tough morning at mass (or at breakfast). Or when I’m having a painful disagreement (about the same thing we disagreed about last week and the week before that:) with my husband. The unglamorous labors of my daily life don’t seem like the best birthplace for the world’s newest saint-in-training. But I’m going with it. Call me idealistic. Call me unrealistic.

But if everyone in the world was trying to be a saint, the world would be a much, much different place.

Copyright 2012 Erin Franco

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