We live in a world consumed with busyness. The question “Hey, how are you doing?” is frequently responded to with a “Busy, but _____ (good, bad, tired, etc).”
Busy has become the new norm. Busy is beyond being socially acceptable. Busy is now socially expected. Busy is chic. Being busy can lead to debates and disagreements over who is more busy, as being busy has become a badge of honor. Many now believe that if you aren’t busy, then you’re probably not doing something right.
A couple of years ago I stumbled across a quote by St. Peter Canisius, “If you have too much to do, with God’s help you will find time to do it all.” I thought it was an interesting quote, but also seemingly contradictory. I prayed and wondered about it, considering how I could apply it to my own life. So I made a commitment. That Lent, I was going to try attending Daily Mass not just a couple times a week, but every day. I was going to place God first and hope that all the ministry work I needed to accomplish (I’m a full-time Director of Youth Ministry at a parish) would be accomplished in the same amount of hours, even though I was taking time away from “doing” my ministry job.
Half-way through Lent I noticed a change in my work. It wasn’t that my work load changed (it actually increased), but I was finding that with God’s help in the daily nourishment by Word and Eucharist, I was finding the strength to accomplish my tasks differently.
Fast forward to now. I’m still busy, but my reliance on the Eucharist for daily strengthening continues to increase. It is nourishment that my soul longs for, to the point that my day feels empty without Daily Mass. And in my exceedingly and sometimes overwhelmingly busy schedule, I find that I must include time for the Mass as part of my daily life, or I feel lost.
Even though I usually attend Daily Mass, it has not been a magical cure to accomplishing all ministry and tasks in my life, nor is it easy to attend daily. My ministry work continues to grow, and I do occasionally debate with myself about whether I feel like walking across the parish campus to the Church for Mass. And I do miss the occasional Mass for a meeting or if a parishioner comes into my office. But I have found that in my busyness, God does help me to accomplish His work because I am making time for Him.
In our busy, hectic lives it can be hard to find God. But as our Father, our Creator, our Lover, our Friend, God desires to be with us in every moment of everyday, and especially in our busyness. And it’s important for us to recognize that even Jesus took time for prayer, which allowed him to be able to continue his very busy ministry for God. (Mt 14:22; Mark 1:35). It’s made me realize that if Jesus recognized the need for time with God in his busy ministry and life, shouldn’t we all recognize that need?
Being busy and even being busy in ministry and “working for God” can affect us. We need to take a break from our busyness at times to re-focus ourselves on Christ. Fortunately, I am blessed to be able to attend Daily Mass, but I recognize that is not an option for everyone. However, being nourished by God’s Word daily by reading the Gospel for the day or praying the Liturgy of the hours can turn our focus from our busyness and selves towards God, reminding us that our busyness is ultimately for His Glory.
So Let’s make sure we don’t just earn that “Busy Badge” but earn that “Daily Time with God Badge” too!