In the Gospel reading for today’s Mass Jesus talks about priorities:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth,
where moth and decay destroy, and thieves break in and steal.
But store up treasures in heaven,
where neither moth nor decay destroys, nor thieves break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.
“The lamp of the body is the eye.
If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light;
but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness.
And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be.”
Think about the line that I emboldened. You can discover what is truly the priority of your life by the attention and conviction you give it. I fall short of this quite often which is why I’m writing about it (and coincidentally the Gospel reading just happens to be what had been on my mind recently. That happens a lot. My mind mulls over something and lo and behold an upcoming Mass Reading is about it. Perhaps the unconscious is at work. Or the Holy Spirit is leading. Or both.).
What is the priority of your life? Is it discerning God’s will for your life and trying for the strength to live it out? Does it go beyond maintaining your sobriety and perhaps using that as a vehicle for living out God’s will?
You can discern where your treasure is right from the start. This is the part that I’ve been thinking about recently. “Right from the start” means right from when you awaken. There are reasons why in many monastic communities they awaken early and immediately are exhorted to rise from the bed and proceed to Morning Prayer or whatever the daily routine is. To start the day off right and to establish where your priority is your must conquer yourself, your selfish desires to remain in bed and catch a few extra minutes (hours?) of sleep and self-indulgence. Getting up and immediately going about the day gives you an immediate victory: you’ve conquered the desires of the flesh to remain at rest and be comfortable. This is something to build on. How many times have you smacked the snooze button a few times, felt OK about it but later on decided that the day wasn’t going too well because in sleeping in you had to curtail or rush through whatever your morning routine is? This establishes the tone and tempo of the day.
How long does it take you to get to you morning prayer and spiritual routine? Is it among the first and earliest? Or is it after you’ve gotten through most everything else and “Now I can get to and devote some time?” If it’s not amongst the first things you do, you morning offerings and prayers to God, then it’s not where your heart truly lies.
It’s not amongst your treasures.
This is more than just what you do when you awaken in the morning. It’s the mountain that you climb every day. What is at the summit of your endeavors? Fulfilling God’s will and growing closer to Him and maybe leading others by your actions to Him? Or merely fulfilling what the world expects of you?Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)"The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"