It is officially May, and I have been in a state of isolation for over a month due to the pandemic. In the past week, I have undergone several mental struggles. I’ve become frustrated with my lack of motivation. I have all the time in the world, but cannot get anything done. Each passing day I seem to waste more time.
A little voice in my head keeps saying, “Make the most of this time; you’ll miss it when you don’t have it.” My mind actively sought to accomplish everything I “should” be doing. I should be volunteering, walking outside, reading more books, even writing a book!
These thoughts left me with more anxiety — my to-do list was increasing, but I was unable to complete anything on the list. The anxiety came from my belief that I was letting the Lord down. He gave me this gift of time, a time I truly wanted to give back to Him and devote to Him, but I was squandering it by twiddling my fingers and wandering aimlessly from one random thought to another.
I was reaching my limit; my frustrations were mounting uncontrollably, when I tuned into a talk led by a Franciscan friar. He echoed many of the same feelings I experienced, saying this was a time to draw closer to God; however, this friar had a different perspective of what this call really meant.
I was looking for ways to draw closer to God through man made means: seminars, books, live-streamed Masses, and specific prayers. The friar’s way of drawing closer to God was much simpler — it was to go deeper into prayer.
So many times I have focused on the specific prayers I should say daily — like the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. These prayers are wonderful, but I become so fixated on saying them that I forget to actually allow for transformation to take place.
The friar pointed out that there is a deeper form of prayer we can achieve. He illustrated this idea of our hearts on top of a mountain, and on this mountain, we can weather the storms around us. This is where we can encounter Jesus Christ.
It is so easy to let our emotions and thoughts define who we are, but we are deeper than that definition. The chaos created by our emotions and thoughts causes the storms surrounding us. By going further into prayer, we can overcome these storms and find ourselves on top of the mountain where we can be with Christ and only Christ. Then we can discover what He is truly saying to us.
I eagerly tried this new method of prayer because I wouldn’t feel limited by everything I was “supposed” to do or say, all I really had to do was draw closer to the Lord.
It worked! For five minutes, I felt as though I had accomplished more than in the past month of quarantine. Within those five minutes, I did not try to pray for anything. I had no pre-arranged agendas; I simply allowed myself to be with Christ.
I was finally at peace with this unique time in my life. God is asking me for a deeper prayer life with Him, but this does not require any heroic effort — all I need to do is to be with Him.
Originally published at Kitty in the City.