What we need most in a stressful spring

Dear friends and alumni of Bishop Ward, 

For whatever reason, our activities and commitments seem to multiply in the spring, especially here at Bishop Ward as we approach graduation. 

When we are overwhelmed with busy-ness, we can easily switch into survival mode and the mentality of just making it through, whatever the cost.

I propose that is exactly in these busiest times that we need to be extra intentional about stepping back and embracing some daily quiet time to be with God.

In a survey we did with the majority of students this year, over 20% said they were interested in more time for silence and prayer to grow in their faith. 

This resonates with one line of scripture from Psalm 127 that has been convicting me recently: 
“Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” 

It is precisely this daily time of silence and reflection that will give us peace in the busy-ness and bless the work that we are frenetically trying to do without God and His grace. 

I tell my parishioners and students that we need to shoot for 30 minutes of prayer a day in order to have a deep, thriving relationship with the Lord, but even 5, 10, or 15 minutes of daily committed silent time will be so fruitful for us, especially in these more intense seasons of our lives. 

What should we do in that time of silence? Certainly share whatever is on our mind and heart with the Lord, but prayer is also a conversation which involves listening to God, especially through His Word of Scripture. 

Regardless of how we spend the time, the most important thing is that we do in fact spend the time consistently each day. 

The only “bad” prayer is nonexistent prayer, so let’s head into this summer spiritually stronger than how we began, giving God our most valuable resource: our time.

The Lord will not be outdone in generosity: every minute we give to Him each day will come back to us manifold with His blessings.

May God bless you in all of the trials and difficulties you and your families find yourselves in this month.

In Jesus’ joy,

Fr. Joel