The Christian life is not something we can get used to, really. As long as we are in the world we are pilgrims in a foreign land. What Jesus is teaching us to leave behind are the vices that make us feel like we are more at home in this life than we would be in Heaven. We are constantly challenged to set our sights on the greatest gifts that can only come from God. It is certainly by His grace that we can realize every day how whatever we depend upon in this life will pass away. The habit of prayer is so important because, even if it seems unnatural at times, it trains us to let go and detach from our worldly existence. Without that detachment, we cannot experience the true gift of freedom because we continue to fret about things that in the end cannot matter because they won’t exist in eternity. “Help us know the shortness of our life, that we may gain wisdom of heart.” (Ps 90:12)
Wednesday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
The natural inclination of the soul is to rise up towards God. That natural motion is hindered by all sorts of distractions, temptations, and sin. The external activity we engage in that does not produce the fruits of Charity prevents the soul from rising to God. The internal activity of anxiety, comparison with others, judgments and anger are like lead to the soul. For this reason, when Jesus teaches us about prayer He wants us to be alone and shut out everything else. It’s nice to pray in a church, but not always very solitary – even if you are alone, it is still a public place. Choosing a place where you are truly alone and solitary may in fact be preferable.