This is an excerpt from an email I sent to a friend, who told me he was working on disciplining his family’s time management in 2016. You can see why so few people email me back a second time.
…Yes, time management.
A constant struggle for me! I get you.
My spiritual director years ago
handed me an ultimatum:
“You won’t make progress in your spiritual life, son,
if you don’t manage your time better.”
Whenever someone tells him they don’t have time to pray,
a minute or two of questioning them is all he needs to expose:
They do have time to pray, but they don’t manage their time, wasting, sloppy
with priorities – especially the more ‘intangible’ ones that protesteth not back
like prayer, time expended on spouse or children, regular family meals.
St. Augustine defines peace as ‘the tranquility of order’. Order!
Order requires a well thought-out plan, realistic, build around priorities.
Want a peaceful home? Manage your time around your goals!
My wife and I are the main celebrants of the Sacrament of Marriage in our home.
We plan our ‘liturgical calendar,’ an ordo with Christ at the center;
with rhythms of feasts and fasts, play and work, silence and talking.
Cultivating unity, virtue, mutual service, subsidiarity chores
for full, conscious and active participation in the common good.
A rhythm of comings and goings of life that make an imaginative world where home
is the stable, safe welcoming center whence all are sent on mission into the world.
We have an horarium, hours of the day and night all have meaning:
Waking, sleeping; eating, cleaning; studying, playing; exercise, rest; screens, none.
Prayer must show itself a master of time.
Love what St. Benedict says: “The day begins the night before.”
How do you protect the night from distraction, anxiety, temptation?
“Do not let the sun go down on your anger” (Eph 4:26)
Each day begins, ends with a blessing on your children and spouse.
Home economics should enflesh St. John Paul’s vision:
“Christian marriage is a liturgical action glorifying God
in Jesus Christ and in the Church. By celebrating it,
Christian spouses profess their gratitude to God
for the sublime gift bestowed on them of being able
to live in their married and family lives the very love of God
for people and that of the Lord Jesus for the Church, His bride.”
God’s love for us in Jesus is well organized, planned out, faithfully executed.
It bends with life’s unpredictability, but it retains its center
in Jerusalem, the City of Peace; City of God.
Yes, well-ordered love is laborious, limiting, filled with constant missteps;
but a disordered home is exhausting, enslaving, filled with constant conflict.
Order is the only means to true liberty, the only context for genuine spontaneity.
The amazing gift of time cries out for our stewardship!
Humanity was created by God to serve as priests of creation, to ‘sanctify time.’
Time relies on us to make it holy, structured by love and lifted up into the eternal Kingdom
at every Mass: put your calendars in the Offertory!
How we use time determines whether or not our times get consecrated.
We spend time, invest time, save time borrow time, beat time,
hoard time, defy time, manage time, need time, lack time, squander time,
buy time, waste time, gain time, pass time, use time, take time, kill time.
But do we consecrate, sanctify and lift up time as a living sacrifice?
When we consecrate time in Christ, we punch holes in eternity,
permit irruptions of grace, and ensure nothing good done in time is lost in eternity.
When you remember what God has done, you sanctify the past.
When you bear the hope of God’s promise, you sanctify the future.
When you love God and neighbor in the present, you sanctify Today.