Day One. Monday, February 17, 2020
Why are you here?
Silence. Find a quiet place in your house, at work or school, or best, in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Breathe slowly. Relax. Imagine that your cares and concerns are being placed in a box where they will not be forgotten, where you and God can together seek to solve them at the right time. God’s time. At the beginning, it may be helpful to set a timer. Three minutes of silence is probably a minimum. It could seem long at first, but hopefully becomes more peaceful as you get used to the silence. This time of silence and focus on breathing is like stretching before exercise.
Ask God to come into your heart. Ask Jesus to come into your heart. Seeking Jesus is at the heart of all prayer, even if we do not always realize it.
Today’s Scripture. 1 Kings, 19:11-13. Then the LORD said: Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD; the LORD will pass by. There was a strong and violent wind rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the LORD—but the LORD was not in the wind; after the wind, an earthquake—but the LORD was not in the earthquake; after the earthquake, fire—but the LORD was not in the fire; after the fire, a light silent sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, Why are you here, Elijah?
Why are you here? Do we ever think about our relationship with God? For example, some may decide they are not going to work very hard on their relationship with God. God loves me, so why do I need to do anything?
Others claim they really do not have the time for a relationship with God. I have work, school, sports, hobbies, family, entertainment, stuff. I do not have any time for Church on Sunday, or prayer during the day, or anything that might require something from me.
There are those who look at the evil in the world, and even in the Church, and tell themselves there is no point. What difference can my faith make in a world filled with so much evil? Or, maybe I have experienced such evil in my own life, or have other sufferings like the death of someone I cared about, and I wonder if God is even real. I prayed and prayed for a good outcome, and my sick relative still died from cancer. My friend is still gone. Nothing changed.
Elijah had reasons to be depressed. He has been the vehicle for a whole people to see the power of God. God comes down from heaven and makes flame that burns wood soaked and floating in water. But it is not enough for people to convert. What more can Elijah do?
In today’s reading from the bible, Elijah is asked a direct question by God: Elijah, why are you here? Have you ever thought that perhaps God is asking you the same question? Why are you standing before God? How is it that you want a lifegiving, powerful relationship with God? Can you name just what you want from God?
Our Father. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by the name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Amen.
Hail Mary. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Glory Be. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Today’s Challenge. What do you want in your relationship with God? Take some time today to think about your life, and to see where in your life you need to feel more fully the love of God and to have him present in your life.
Intentions. Remember those people and situations you would like to help with today.
Ask God to help you to see the ways God is present in your life, and ask him for a deeper relationship.
Closing Prayer. Dear God, I know you love me. I know you care for me. But I find I can easily be distracted by other things. Sometimes my job is so stressful that I forget to think of you. Sometimes school gives me so many things to do that I get overwhelmed. Sometimes the fun things I seek out take your place in my life. I can wonder sometimes why you are not more present to my life, when really, it is that I never seek the answer to your question: what do I want from you? How can I open my heart to receive your love? Can I willingly accept your grace to become the person you want me to be? Can I say yes to you in a world that seems so filled with evil and sin? Help me to accept your grace, to ask for your love, and to have an eternal relationship with you. Lord Jesus, I pray in your name. Amen.