Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Daily Life, Daily Bread

There's a truth proposed by many a spiritual giant that the most profound way to live out our vocation is to do it in small things, in ordinary activities of daily life, and in the mundane.  It is through faithfulness to the small things, done with great love, that we see that life is mostly made of those smaller moments.  We can begin to offer them, even our smallest actions, back to God.  And we can find God, right where we are.  Rather than seeking a grand "spiritual experience," we can transform and be present to God, even in our mundane lives.  I don't know about you, but my life consists of traffic, work, emails, dishes, laundry, mowing the lawn, and figuring out dinner.  Every now and then, it's also about kissing my husband, enjoying nature, and Eucharistic adoration.

Life is in the small things.  God meets you there.

Below are some inspirational quotes that really all point to this truth.

"Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies." - Mother Teresa

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." - Luke 16:10

"God is the God of the living.  So look for God in your living, in your daily life.  God awaits you there.  You have only to notice."  - Fr. James Martin (reflecting on the gospel of Mark 12:18-27)

"After the ecstasy, the laundry." - Jack Kornfield

There is a common Buddhist teaching about washing your bowl.  The following quote comes from this website:

"Zen is not about doing or reaching towards something special or mystical.  It is down-to-earth and practical, about doing what should be done in this moment. - even if it is an ordinary, routine and so-called mundane task.  When we look for something extraordinary, we have forgotten that the extraordinary enlightenment arises from taking care of the ordinary.  To focus on doing what is appropriate in each moment with an 'ordinary mind,' that is not cluttered or distracted with the unnecessary is Zen practice."

"When something wonderful comes our way, it is good to do the dishes." - John Tarrant

And from one of my favorite saints, The Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux emphasized over and over that it is only through small things that we find God and live out our calling.

"In my little way, there are only very ordinary things."

"Little things done out of love are those that charm the Heart of Christ… On the contrary, the most brilliant deeds, when done without love, are but nothingness."

"My little way is the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute self-surrender."  

"I do not have any other means to prove my love to you, but to throw flowers, that is to let no little sacrifice, no look, no word pass, to take advantage of all the littlest of things and to do them out of love..." 

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