To pray in the midst of the mundane is simply and strongly to assert that this dull and tiring day is holy and its simple labors are the stuff of God's saving presence for me now. To pray simply because it is prayer time is no small act of immersion in the God who is willing to wait for us to be conscious, to be ready, to be willing to become new in life. Prayer, Benedictine spirituality demonstrates, is not a matter of mood. To pray only when we feel like it is more to seek consolation than to risk conversion. To pray only when it suits us is to want God on our terms. To pray only when it is convenient is to make the God-life a very low priority in a list of better opportunities. To pray only when it feels good is to court total emptiness when we most need to be filled. The hard fact is that nobody finds time for prayer. The time must be taken. There will always be something more pressing to do, something more important to be about than the apparently fruitless, empty act of prayer. But when that attitude takes over, we have begun the last trip down a very short road because, without prayer, the energy for the rest of life runs down. The fuel runs out. We become our own worst enemies: we call ourselves too tired and too busy to pray when, in reality, we are too tired and too busy not to pray. Eventually, the burdens of the day wear us down and we no longer remember why we decided to do what we're doing: work for this project, marry this woman, have these children, minister in this place. And if I cannot remember why I decided to do this, I cannot figure out how I can go on with it. I am tired and the vision just gets dimmer and dimmer.
Joan D. Chittister
In the New Testament, God's steadfast love and faithfulness are seen, not in an act of deliverance from foreign enemies, but in sending the Son and raising Him from the dead to enact a global rescue mission (Romans 8:3.) Jesus is God's supreme, grand, climactic act of faithfulness. Not only that, but faithful also describes Jesus. Paul writes, We know that a person is justified not by the works of the law but in faith in Jesus Christ (Galations 2:16...). A better reading is faithfulness of Jesus Christ -- which is found in footnotes of many Bibles -- and the two readings couldn't be more different... Paul isn't saying, You are not justified by your efforts but by your faith. The contrast he's making isn't between two options we have; the contrast is between your efforts and Jesus' faithfulness to you, shown in His obedient death on a Roman cross. Paul is interested in telling readers what Jesus did, Jesus' faithfulness, not what we do. God's grand act of faithfulness is giving His son for our sake. God is all in. Jesus' grand act of faithfulness is going through with it for our sake. Jesus is all in. Now it's our move, which really is the point of all this. Like God the Father and God the Son, we are also called to be faithful. On one level, we are faithful to God when we trust God, but faith (pistis) doesn't stop there. It extends, as we've seen, in faithfulness toward each other, in humility and self-sacrificial love. And here is the real kick in the pants: When we are faithful to each other like this, we are more than simply being nice and kind -- though there's that. Far more important, when we are faithful to each other, we are, at that moment, acting like the faithful God and the faithful Son. Being like God. That's the goal. And we are most like God, not when we are certain we are right about God, or when we tell others how right we are, but when we are acting toward one another like the faithful Father and Son. Humility, love and kindness are our grand acts of faithfulness and how we show that we are all in.Correct Beliefs
Peter Enns