Living a good Catholic life seems simple after listening to an inspiring sermon. Yet once we exit the church doors, reality hits us in the face. We struggle to relax on Sunday afternoon with our family – dreading the rat race that begins in a few short hours.
We wonder what we can do to embrace our spirituality and use it to cope with the chaos of our lives.
“How can a busy parent reconnect with that ‘quiet stillness’ where God can be found as the source of our ultimate peace and purpose in life?” asks Msgr. Arthur A. Holquin, episcopal vicar for Divine Worship at the Mission Basilica San Juan Capistrano. “I strongly encourage parents and everyone to vigorously search out moments of stillness and quiet in their daily schedule.”
Msgr. Holquin acknowledges that while a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament is ideal, that is simply impossible for most of us. Instead, he says, stressed-out Catholics can find peace among the chaos by designating 10 minutes a day in a place free from distraction as our sacred time.
“Don’t fill it with reading or something that is going to necessarily take mental energy,” he adds. “Perhaps listen to meditative music or the sounds of nature – whatever can center us into an attitude of gratitude before the Lord of our lives.”
A few moments of contemplative prayer can re-energize us spiritually just as a short nap can refresh us physically, Msgr. Holquin notes. “Quietly reflective prayer or just ‘being’ in the Lord’s presence can indeed be transforming.”
From a practical standpoint, finding peace in chaos is possible with creative thinking and time management, notes Linda Hampton in “From Chaos to Calm” on keystostressfreeliving.com.
Hampton offers these tips to enjoy more peace in your life:
Read a good book. You can spend some time immersed in a different place or time, which will help you regain your calm.
Listen to uplifting music. Music has always had wonderful and mysterious powers.
Enjoy some family time. Spending time with those you love is often a great stress reliever.
Get some assistance from the experts. Many noted authors have written about de-stressing and de-cluttering your life.
Writing on crosswalk.com, Dena Johnson notes she sometimes finds herself crying out to God to lighten her load. “I ask him to make something break, answer one of my many prayers that would somehow allow me more time in my life,” she says. “I remind Him of the many promises he has made that would make my life less complicated… I remind him how I often feel my kids are being served leftovers… leftovers of my time and my energy and for meals. I remind him of His love and care for me and my kids and how things have to change because I simply cannot keep going at this break-neck speed.”
Johnson notes that God simply replies, “Rest.”
That is the most important advice the experts provide: Take your time, stop and smell the roses, and listen to the birds chirp. Everything you need so desperately to accomplish will still be there waiting for you five minutes later.