I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided.
And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
We originate from a family and are destined to be members of families, even if for some it involves the unconventional family of religious life or a special role as uncle-mentor or aunt-confidant. St. Paul’s insight is right on, “each of us must be free to devote oneself to the Lord’s affairs,” but his application is wrong, at least in terms of how we understand things today. We should never think that putting food on the table or “wasting” quality time with the children in our care or, indeed, pleasing one’s spouse is any less about being devoted to the Lord’s affairs than, say, going to church or serving in a food pantry.
Doing every duty and undertaking every responsibility of my life, doing so with love, and even finding the right balance–that is letting all my activities become “the Lord’s affairs” as they ought to be. Then, what a wondrous life I’ll be living!
—Fr. Terry Charlton, SJ, joined the Chicago province and now serves as assistant provincial in Eastern Africa. He is the co-founder and chaplain of St. Aloysius Gonzaga High School for AIDS orphans from the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya.
O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of Your presence,Your love, and Your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in Your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for, living close to You, we shall see Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things.
—St. Ignatius Loyola, Click here for the downloadable prayer card.Please share the Good Word with your friends!