For God or For the World?

"If people would do for God what they do for the world, what a great number of Christians would go to Heaven!" – St. John Vianney

What do we do for the world? In the midst of the bustle of every day life, here in the shadow of the most powerful city on earth, where competition is de rigueur and sleep deprivation is a constant state of being, how much do we give to the world? In our employment, we work without ceasing. In the raising of our families, we sacrifice to provide opportunities unbounded for our children. Do we give to the world the greater portion of our lives? Do we give to the world our very souls?

I can't always hear God in that noisy bustle that takes me from laundry and laptops to soccer and ballet. I can't hear Him over the incessant dialogue in my head; clearly I am not talking with Him. Instead, I am talking with the world. I'm hashing out the details of a writing project. I'm proposing a weekend schedule to my husband. I'm arguing with an acquaintance. It's all inside my head. Some of it will never be given voice. All of it leaves no silence for God. It's all about the world.

How much more profitable it would be if all of my concerns were taken, instead, to my Lord and Ruler? He hears what is going on in my head. He must shake His head in wonderment at the time I waste talking to people who can't hear me. Or talking to myself. And He is always there, waiting to listen if I'd just talk instead to Him.

How many times do I rise early to meet the commitments of the day? What are they? A writing deadline, a load of laundry that must be clean and dry before daybreak, an early soccer game. I do these things because they are indelibly imprinted upon my planner. They seem so indisputable. They are my duties, the living of my vocation. And yet, if I do them for the world alone, with little thought of God and without purposeful pursuit of holiness, they are merely busy tasks that distract me from sanctity.

I rarely rise early and fight traffic to get to Mass. I rarely sit in the quiet of my home before sunrise and devote my time to uninterrupted prayer.

Honestly, how often do I do what I do for God? True, most of what I write is about God. Care must be taken though, to be certain that what I do and say and write is truly for God. If my concern in writing and speaking is the advancement of my career and the attainment of notoriety, I might as well be writing about bass fishing (not that bass fishing can't be holy, too, but you understand what I mean). Instead, I must focus on truth. I must ask God – not myself, not any one of the several worldly companions in my head – what it is He would have me say or think or do or write for Him today and every day. I must trust that as long as I am doing for God, God will take care of all the noisy details.

These children and this husband are God's plan for me. They are God's chosen path to holiness. He's given me such gifts of opportunity to live for Him from moment to moment in my own home. Still, despite all the blessings of opportunity He has bestowed, if I live this lifestyle without consecrating my every movement, taking capture for Christ my every thought, then even this seemingly authentic Catholic life is hollow and empty and echoes with the song of the world.

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