“And when they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast and the door was shut. Afterwards the other maidens came also, saying Lord, Lord, open to use. But He replied, “Truly, I say to you, I do not know you. Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” – Matthew 25:10-13
Here is another doorway we will all be faced with. It is a little scarier to think about this one. I mean, it’s joyful on the one hand – described as going to the marriage feast! Who doesn’t love a wedding party. Or more specifically, who doesn’t want to enter the gates of heaven? This passage tells us we have to be ready to enter through that doorway at any time – or else we will be wailing on the other side! We don’t know the day or hour of our death or the Lord’s coming. It’s sobering news, isn’t it?
How do we get and stay ready? We need to be so grateful for God’s mercy. We need to stay in relationship with Jesus! I used to hear that, and I wasn’t sure what that meant or how to do it. We do it through prayer, through reading the Bible and pondering His words. How is He trying to speak to you through the Word?
We are supposed to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). What does that mean and how do we do it? There are many books explaining various ways to do that, but I will share what I try to do (I definitely need to keep working on it). For me it can look like reading the mass (bible) readings for the day – and read or listen to a reflection on it. If I am really on my “game,” I will try to relate it to my life, I may even journal on it. Throughout the day I try to thank God for different things. If I am bird watching or just out in nature in general, I am always overjoyed and amazed by God’s creation and artistry. I pray for the ability to be a good steward of God’s creation. I also pray for the ability to somehow capture His creation creatively – either through my art or my photography, writing (this blog, poetry (been a while), or in my journal). I thank God for getting a green light when I need to get somewhere, or for a red light when I need to grab something in my car!
I ask the Holy Spirit to guide my words if someone needs my counsel or to help keep my mouth shut in situations where my temper may be tested (I really need to work on both of these because well, let’s just say, I need help). I like to use a prayer journal and pour my prayer into it. And of course, I attend Sunday mass.
We also need to make sure we are right with God. I am so grateful for the sacrament of reconciliation. I make not like it – it’s so humbling, isn’t it? But I am grateful for the gift of God’s mercy.
Stay ready for that doorway to open to you! I would love to hear ways you pray constantly or your favorite form of prayer.