You’re Not A Monk | Unexpected Advice From a Priest

“You’re not a monk.” That was the reaction I got from a priest as I confessed that I’d slipped in my prayer life. And it struck me. He pointed out that my duty is not to spend X amount of time in prayer, but to be a good husband. That comes first, and my prayer life should aid me in that endeavor. This happened within a day or two of listening to Catholic Stuff You Should Know’s episode titled GOD IS “BEING WITH”. What I want to do with this episode is explore how we live a life of love and service in our world of distractions, without compromising on our faith.

Called to Christ

We are called to give ourselves and our lives to Christ. However, that doesn’t look the same for everyone. While some are called to marriage, others may be called to priesthood or the religious life. Some will be teachers and others doctors or soldiers. No matter what, we are called to give ourselves to God through service to those around us.

2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

– Romans 12:2

After this quote, Paul goes into the imagery of the Mystical Body of Christ. And, he explains that we each have our role to play. Like each part of our body, we have a function in the Body of Christ, which means we have things we need to do. It isn’t just passive, but active.

How to live in the World, But Not of It

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever.

1 John 2:15-17

This is the fear I had. I wanted to shut away everything and move away from technology in order to follow this. I had a radical idea of turning away from the world to turn to God. Instead, I should have been turning to God so that I face the world with the proper orientation. We should live our lives like a priest celebrating mass ad orientum - facing God and leading those around us in worship.

20 So we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:20

We are not all called to be monks, but we are all called to be Christians. We are each priest, prophet, and king over our home and called to minister to others as well. An ambassador doesn't just talk to the king he represents. Instead he takes what the king wants and goes and shares that with the world. That means he must know what the king wants and so he must be in communication with him. However, he has to act on his own in accord with what the king would do. He has to learn to think like the king and to be his agent in foreign lands.

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