The Daily Grind

27 April 2024

A chance to grow in holiness

In day to day life we sometimes experience the grind of ordinary life. Little things tend to add up and before we know it we are feeling miserable. That should be warning signal number one. Something isn’t right if we are in depression. Rejoicing in the Lord should be our strength. Am I saying that everything should be puppy dog tails and unicorn rainbows? Definitely not!! The first thing to do is to examine our life. Have we committed some sin that we haven’t repented of? (Annoyance, over-eating, over achieving, being attached to worldly pleasures and goods without having God at the center ect.) We tend to cling to our desires and wants and if we fall short then we blame God.

Is that the right attitude? No. God allows hardship for two reasons 1. To grab our attention so that we turn to Him and repent, and 2. If some greater blessing is in store for us that will grow us in holiness and we need preparation. A third point is also worth noting. Sometimes when we are ordering our life and headed in the right direction, the Evil One doesn’t like it and throws difficulty and turmoil at us to turn us away from the path. Let’s look at number one. Since we are wired for intimacy with God, when something isn’t quite right we feel it. If God is not number one in our heart and created things are gradually becoming the center, then we find that our hearts are empty and searching. When we are not running to Him for grace, we begin to see symptoms in our life that point us to change. Like shouting at the children or loved ones, we might find ourselves stress eating, or we might just feel blah and not want to get out of bed in the morning.

What is the remedy? How do we know if our feelings are our own consequences or if it is God speaking? Prayer and discernment. At the first moment our heart feels off, and before we act out and become reactive to the circumstances, we must say a little prayer to God for help and offer our suffering to Him. Turn to 1 Peter 5:5-14 for the remedy. Clothe yourselves with humility to one another for God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. That is step one. Realizing we cannot and that we are not God. That we fall short and easily choose the wrong thing. We must act in a manner of humility like saying, “I’m sorry honey that I just yelled at you. Please forgive me.”

God’s will is usually discovered as we live our life in this manner with faith. We find His purpose or we might not till eternity. Be humble in saying to the Lord, “I can’t do this on my own. I surrender.” Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God that in due time he may exalt you. God loves nothing more than a humble contrite heart that is turning to Him. The only unforgivable sin is the one we do not repent of. When we open ourselves up to God, He will fill us. The timing is His, though, and when we keep making an offering of our daily life, we are praying in one of the strongest ways. And indeed we do become very strong. It is God’s promise. Our spiritual muscles are strengthened and weakness then becomes strength.

If we look at our top strengths and talents, we often find on the flip side our chief vices too. For example, let’s say you are a very generous person who does not find it difficult to give to others. On the flip side, perhaps with our nearest and dearest we find ourselves being selfish in petty things. Perhaps this is our first response under stress. Do not be confused with self-care. I am talking about instances when putting ourselves first would be wrong. What is the acronym of Joy? Jesus, Others, You. Any other combination of those would be disordered desires. Self-Care is different. It is taking care of ourselves when we need to in order for us to be able to care for others and we should not feel guilty when we do do that. Sometimes it is necessary to demand generosity from others for the greater good or when we are tired and just need to finish something we started or to rest. Discernment in prayer is key and the Enemy can be very subtle in making pride and wrongful self care the disguise of humility when in fact it isn’t the right choice to be made. Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour.

The next step is giving all your anxieties to the Lord. That means being firm in the path of holiness. We are often tempted to give up when the least difficulty arrives. We start abandoning the daily exercise of virtue and the self discipline to set ourselves aside to love God and to care for others. What does that mean? 1. We show up for prayer. Set aside a specific 15 minutes. (You expand this as you fall into rhythm to a half hour and then an hour.) The time of this is going to be different for everyone. But that doesn’t matter as long as we do it. 2. Remaining steadfast to our duty and state in life. It often helps to set reminders and alarms for daily things that need to happen all the time on our phones. And when it goes off you do it. No matter what. Unless for real you need to set it aside for a legitimate need like being sick or an obligation that would be wrong to miss. (Like going to Mass, Sabbath rest, or Confession ect.)

3. You are not the only one going through your experience. It helps to look at other’s crosses and trials and to be honest with our closest loved ones and friends when we are struggling. Reach out and also remain open to perhaps put aside difficulty and do something with your spouse or friend even if you have laundry piling up. You can put it aside to a later time to do that. (Remember though how subtle the enemy can be. Sometimes we just need to wash the dishes and do the laundry.) Resist him [the Devil] knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world.

4. God will reward your little efforts. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, and strengthen you. To him be dominion forever. That is a powerful promise that if kept in mind will bring strength to the hardest hardship. Let me just give you an example of one little practice you can adopt to slowly improve your circumstances and grow in happiness and holiness. That would be praying the Angelus. Traditionally that happens at 6:00am, 12:00pm, and 6:00pm. It is a prayer that centers your day and makes an offering of your duties and your charities and your life. This prayer is a remembrance of the mystery of the Annunciation and Incarnation, when Mary says yes to the angel and Salvation is made possible. When we pray it, we are joining our own suffering to Christ’s to join in doing His redemption.

Another practice is the daily Rosary or daily Mass. Or all the above. We must be careful though to ease ourselves into these practices or our success will be affected and we will burn out or find ourselves deeper into depression. For example, start with the Angelus and maybe God isn’t asking you to do it at 6:00 am. A Good sleep is necessary too. Maybe you do it when you wake at 7 or 7:30. Strict adherence is meant for times of harder difficulty. Next gradually add a time of Leccio Divina with the Daily Readings. (A good app for this is Ascension or Amen or the USCCB). Then add the practice of a decade of the Rosary and then perhaps one extra daily Mass aside from your Sunday obligations which you should never miss except for a grave reason (sickness). Remember, though, that if we always keep it to the bare minimum we will not grow and we find ourselves back where we started. God wants greater holiness in us. He wants sainthood. We need heroes and we need to become more well acquainted with the saints. We need to run to our friends in time of difficulty who are living out faithfully these principles whether on earth or in heaven.

Mass and the Sacraments also keep us in the life of grace. We need to examine our lives to see if we are in the state of Mortal Sin. (A serious or grave matter that is given in full knowledge and with full consent.) These are deadly and kill the life of the soul with God whereas Venial sin makes our souls sick and weak. Over time, venial sin can build up to be more serious and eventually become mortal. It is a dance of consistency that does not invite in weakness and discouragement but strength and encouragement. As we grow, we draw closer to the light and see things that we haven’t seen before. We grow more aware of the world and aware of God in our life and the presence of sin. Then we desire more. Confession fills that need. It is always important to remember that faith is with a person; and a relationship with that person, Jesus. Sometimes the letter of the law is very important to be implemented and other times we need to look at the heart of the matter. Faith is both heart and works.

Sometimes we react because wounds we have that we carry with us or because we are tired and need a break. We need to look at these to find healing and peace and which direction to choose. We must beg God for forgiveness and assistance. These little steps are an invitation to take little steps of virtue and grow in holiness; to act in love.

Thank you for your support. Spread the Love and like and share. I always love hearing from you. You can either email me at or contact me on the website. Stay tuned for more related content. We have some exciting things ahead!

Helpful Links: God the Father’s Heart, The Character of God, Unbind Him, Season One, Season Two,

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