With the heroic minute, morning offering and making one’s bed the day has begun well. What is so important is that we are resolved to do this every day. If you fail start again the next day. I cannot overstate how critical this is. If you fail today – something doesn’t happen – then start again tomorrow. If you do this things will improve 

Then you engage in your 15 minutes of meditation. Again – I’m a repeater of basic things – if you fail today renew your resolve to start again tomorrow. Do not allow any discouragement to wear you down. Leave it behind and ask Jesus to help you begin again and again.

Now the oasis’s throughout the day will involve a number of things at different points. Think of these points as taking a moment to raise your mind and heart to God in order to renew your morning offering – to continue the trajectory that you started your day with. 

I will mention some of these “oasis’s” in this writing and others in later writings. 

Spontaneous prayers

The spiritual life is not about checking off boxes – “I did that” “I did this.” The spiritual life is about love – true love and the willingness to sacrifice itself for another. Normally I would say “for the good of another” but when it comes to God it is not for God’s good but rather for our good. 

The spiritual life is more akin to a response to what God has done for us. God – in Christ – has not only created us (he did not need to) but he has died for us (he did not need to) and offered to rescue us (he did not need to – are you getting the point yet!) and then bring us into a relationship with himself beginning now and then being consummated for all eternity (he did not need to!). 

Knowing this will help a person go through the day and want to “stop at a spiritual oasis” and either offer a prayer, pray the rosary, make an offering, rectify your intention about the work you are doing and you will no longer see it as a burden but rather a manifestation of love for the one who has loved you more than you can know. 

So – spontaneous prayers are like darts that we throw to heaven. As we go through the day we experience everything from the normalcy of life to being tired, being tempted … all sorts of things. As St Josemaria teaches: 

A good Christian acquires his mettle, with the help of grace, in the training-ground of prayer. But prayer, our life-giving nourishment, is not limited to one form alone. Our heart will find an habitual expression in words, in the vocal prayers taught us by God himself — the Our Father — or by his angels — the Hail Mary. On other occasions, we will use the time-proven words that have expressed the piety of millions of our brothers in the faith: prayers from the liturgy — lex orandi; or others whose source is the love of an ardent heart, like the antiphons to our Lady: Sub tuum praesidium, Memorare, Salve, Regina…

There will be other occasions on which all we’ll need will be two or three words, said with the quickness of a dart, iaculata — ejaculatory prayers, aspirations that we learn from a careful reading of Christ’s life: “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” “Lord, you know all things, you know that I love you.” “Lord, I do believe, but help my unbelief,” strengthen my faith. “Lord, I am not worthy.” “My Lord and my God!”… or other short phrases, full of affection, that spring from the soul’s intimate fervour and correspond to the different circumstances of each day. (cf. Christ is Passing by, The Ascension of Our Lord # 119).

So you see – it is not that difficult. We only need to get into the practice (habit) of doing this — and asking God (which is itself a prayer) for help to get this started is a big step forward. 

Take advantage of the “oasis” that is present throughout your day.

Fr Hamilton 

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