“All creation sings praise to God simply by being what the Creator intended… obedience to God’s design is in itself an act of worship”. (Magnificat: 8/13/20)
I remember a good friend of mine once commenting “the rock lying in the dirt over there is praising God because it’s doing what it was created to do… be a rock.
When I’m praying , whether having my personal prayer time or going to Mass or at a prayer meeting, I often feel confident that I’m in God’s will…doing what he called me to do… honoring him and giving him rightful praise. But what about the other times?
Often when I’m “just” doing my duty, I don’t feel especially close to the Lord. I don’t remember hearing pious stories of Saint “Bubba” getting up early every day to go off to work in order to support his family or about Saint “LuLu” changing that diaper in the middle of the night or caring for that sick child. “Hey, it’s what a father and mother are suppose to do…. nothing special.
Well at times maybe it is pretty special. I recall a time when we had 3 little girls under 6 who all had the stomach bug and were throwing up during the night and Judy was caring for them while she was also throwing up… special love by a mother. ( I guess you might be wondering where I was during this time… to be honest, I can’t remember… hmmmm, let’s move on.)
We certainly know that “it is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to thy name, O Most High; to declare thy steadfast love in the morning, and thy faithfulness by night.” (Psalm 92:1-2) At the same time, doing our duty before the Lord is also praise… by being and acting as the Creator intended.
Cardinal Rea (former Vatican Secretariat of State in 1978) said of St. John Paul II, “he was a great saint, because he was a man of prayer and at the same time a great man of action…. it was amazing to see how he could go from contact with huge crowds to the solitude of prayer…and when he prayed, he had a great ability to concentrate …. before every big decision he would pray for a long time.” So we should definitely pray, but also do our “duty”… which is also really a form of prayer.
We may be surprised one day to realize that the way we lived out our vocation as husband/wife and father/mother, single (parent), widow/widower, son/daughter… in all the private moments meant as much or more to God than those times when we piously went to church or to a prayer meeting. It’s not one or the other, it’s both.