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Inner Life

by Fr. Michael Della Penna

“We do not know what to do with this short life, yet we yearn for another that will be eternal.”― Anatole France

“The man who has no inner life is the slave of his surroundings”- Henri Amiel

These two quotes have been on my heart these days and are the spring-board of my reflection. I have come across so many posts on Facebook about how bored people are that it makes me think we are not using this time as wisely or effectively as we could be.

One of my friends sent out a thought-provoking post asking how many times have we thought to ourselves “if only I had more free time I’d love to……” He challenged those reading to use the time to improve ourselves and our family, to pick up a book and have family reading time for one hour a night, to learn a new domestic skill like how to cook, how to sew, how to knit or some other skill, to fix the things around the house you’ve been meaning to fix/clean, to begin a journal and write our thoughts down daily. He suggested we call old friends and family members on the phone or better yet FaceTime them, reconnecting with people who were once very important to us but with whom we’ve lost touch because we never had the time. He wrote

Check on your older neighbors; make sure they have what they need. Break out some old board games and give you kids a lesson on who is the real “Monopoly King” in your castle. Do some extra stretching, or planking or pushups. There are soooooo many things that we don’t have time to do and now we are blessed with a chance to catch up. Let’s not waste the time complaining. Let’s use the time preciously. Choose wisely what you will do during this time. Try to grow, enrich your mind, love more fully, become a better you. Don’t just binge watch shows that glorify violence, cheating and deception. Watch shows that teach you about nature, science or show you other parts of our world. Then find someplace you and your family find fascinating and start to plan a trip there that you will take once this is all over. This WILL pass and we WILL get back to normal. We don’t want to look back on this time and realize we missed out on a once in a lifetime chance to get closer with our children and families.

Of all the advice he gave I particularly liked his invitation to begin praying a family rosary every day. This is a great time to break open the Word of God and deepen our relationship with Him, developing our inner life. I can’t think of a better way to use this time; it is a golden opportunity to help bring us closer together as family and closer to our God.

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