In their Pastoral Letter on Stewardship, a Disciple’s Response, the U.S. bishops state:
The Christian steward is one who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord.
All we are and all we have is a gift from our Creator, for us to use wisely when building up God’s kingdom here on earth.
It is said that time is the most valuable of all resources. You can't borrow more. You can’t buy more. You can't store it away for a rainy day. Once it is gone, it is gone forever. The most common expression of love is spending time with one another. Giving time - our most precious resource - to another person is a tangible expression of saying "I value you. I value our relationship. And I want to give to you what I cannot give to anyone else, ever again - this moment, right now."
We were created to want to have a real connection with others, a real human connection with someone that leaves us changed. We want this. It's wired into who we are. We desire that human connection so much that we seek it out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on social media. We even call being on social media, "being connected".
But are we really connected? Deep down, we want more. More what? More connection. Being connected on the land phone wasn't enough, so we made it possible to go mobile. Being connected on the Internet wasn't enough, so we made it wireless. Being connected on the computer wasn't enough, so we made our notebooks and tablets connected, too. We are trying so hard to stay connected with each other electronically that we are missing the point. It's a REAL connection that keeps us searching, A meaningful relationship is what we all want, but with whom?
What about God? Do you spend as much time trying to connect with God as you do “connecting” on social media? How much more should we be developing an intimate relationship with God?
Time spent in prayer is time spent with a best friend, THE best friend. It is a never-ending conversation with God, the Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, the great "I AM" .. and our loudest cheerleader. God knows your secrets before you tell Him and still, He loves you. He offers Himself to you each week in the Mass, in the Holy Eucharist. He listens to you when you sob out your sorrows and He comforts you. He rejoices with you in your victories. He asks only that you spend some time with Him.
Spending time with God provides "quiet time" to contemplate what our relationship with God is and what it could become. It teaches us patience, as we learn to trust in God and His plan for us. It gives us time to hear His voice in our hearts and to respond to His call for a true conversion of our hearts and our spirits.
If you want a true measure of what - or who - you value, ask yourself: When I have free time, how do I choose to spend it? Where do I choose to spend it? And with whom do I choose to spend it?
At Saint John the Baptist, we come together for daily and weekend Masses. During this time, we share in the heavenly feast that is the Holy Eucharist. We gather as a community to pray together and to share our faith in Jesus Christ and the hope we have of eternal salvation through His life, death and resurrection.
We also have monthly Rosaries to pray for our community members' healing. During all Fridays of Lent, we have Stations of the Cross and Benediction. The church is open during normal business hours for quiet contemplation and prayer.
By making prayer the start and end of your day, you are giving time to a relationship that should come before all other relationships in your life. Start the day by asking God for wisdom in your daily actions and interactions. Thank Him for your abundant blessings. Starting the day this way puts you in the frame of mind that you truly are God's child and that He is with you. End the day by telling Him of your triumphs and failures, your great moments and your weak ones. Ask for His forgiveness and His blessing. Ending the day like this gives you peace of mind and of spirit.
Need some tips on praying? Father Mike Schmidt has some wonderful and very practical tips here.
Know that you are always in the prayers of the pastor and staff at Saint John the Baptist Parish.
And, in all that you do, seek the Lord and His strength, seek His presence continually! (1 Chronicles 16:11)
Go to Stewardship of Talent Go to Stewardship of Treasure