I recently held a local workshop focusing on how to rightly order the important things amidst urgent tasks in daily personal and family life, and one of the topics we discussed was our misuse of time. We often claim that we don’t have enough hours in a day, and we also seem to believe that just a little bit more time would relieve the pressure that we feel to accomplish all we need to do. I’m going to free you of the wishful thinking for the impossible — these beliefs are false!
We don’t need more time; we need to prioritize the time that we have. More time wouldn’t diminish interruptions and distractions; it would just create more. One of the reasons that our domestic churches aren’t thriving is because we are making poor use of our hours and minutes in daily and weekly life.
Author Charles Hummel wrote, “…everyone has all the time there is — twenty-four hours a day. But what an astonishing variety in our use of that time and the results of our choices!” He goes on to say that, in the end, “how we use our time depends on our goals. We make the hours count for what we think is important” (The Tyranny of the Urgent).
What I think that he is hitting upon is this: we might say that certain things are our priorities; but ultimately, our use of time reveals the things that truly are most important to us. I think that we are mostly unconscious of this, letting urgent needs or what is most compelling at the moment be the thing to which we turn our attention. The good news? We can begin redeeming our time at any moment. I have a couple of general principles for doing just that, as well as a tool that I think can help us. Continue reading “Redeeming Your Time”
I recently read and wrote about St. John Paul II’s apostolic letter Mulieris Dignitatem. It was a timely read, as May is the month we celebrate both mothers in general and our own Mother of the Church, Mary. But it was also timely for me because I have been reflecting on the idea of motherhood in culture today. The letter was such a life-giving exhortation to me of “the dignity and vocation of women,” and one of the main themes that runs throughout is the fact that every woman is created for, and is therefore called to, motherhood.
It doesn’t matter if you are 6, 16, 36, or 60. It doesn’t matter if you are poor or rich. It doesn’t matter if you are single, married, or consecrated to religious life. It doesn’t matter if you are blessed with many biological children or struggle with life-long infertility. Every woman was created with the capacity to birth new life. Not every woman will birth or raise children, and those who do will not do so in every stage of their lives.
Regardless of the stage of life, or the limitations of our circumstances, or the particular vocational call — every woman is called to spiritual motherhood throughout her entire life, and this truly is our unique and defining vocation as female human beings. We have lost the significance of this purpose. As a culture, we view motherhood in so many mixed up and problematic ways. But our view of fatherhood is skewed as well. Why? Because I think we have missed the point of being human in our world today. Continue reading “The Mother in Every Woman”
How is your reading going for the 2017 Catholic Reading Challenge? Haven’t started? It’s not too late. I’ve been sharing what I’m reading for each category throughout the year. Hopefully this gives you some inspiration for your picks…or just inspiration to get started.
Category: An Encyclical from One of the Last Three Popes
Mulieris Dignitatem (technically an apostolic letter, rather than an encyclical — feel free to read either for this category) is JPII’s 1988 letter on the dignity and vocation of women. It offers a beautiful and rich perspective on the God-authored dignity of the human person in general, and the dignity (and therefore vocation) of women in particular.
Where to start?? As a woman, this was incredibly life-giving to read! Women — you need to read it. Men — you should read it too. Why? Two reasons. First, because St. John Paul II explains how the dignity of our particular gender is intrinsically tied to our human dignity. Second, because when you understand the ways in which one gender’s dignity manifests itself, you are able to understand how the other’s dignity perfectly complements it, gives it meaning, and works with it to be a human sign of Christ and his Church. Continue reading “My Reading Challenge Pick for “An Encyclical…””