We had a pastor at our parish a while back, Fr. Charlie (may he rest in peace) that we loved so very much. He was a happy guy, extremely secure in his vocation (over 30 years a priest) and loved the kids in the parish with his huge Irish heart. But his most endearing quality was that the spiritual life was so simple to him: do God’s will without question and everything will work out the way God has planned for it to work out.
Often he would begin his homily by saying; “It’s so simple really.” Then he would go on to give us one razor sharp message from the Liturgy of the Word to carry us through our day. He was such a breath of fresh air after our previous pastor who at times seemed as though he were giving a dissertation on the entirety of Christian Scripture each Sunday, and only slightly less involved homilies on weekdays.
Whenever I would get too up in my head about what God’s will was, or what I needed to focus on to be a better person, he would rein me in by saying. Just work on one thing. Just get one thing, You only need one thing. So in those very confusing times my morning prayer became: God open my eyes and heart so that you can teach me today the one thing I most need to learn.
To this day, that is part of my morning prayer, and when I do my Examen in the evening I ask myself, what was that one thing that God taught me and how did I perceive it in my day?
The spiritual life isn’t some unattainable future prize, it is gained by being open to that one thing every day that God wants to teach you IF you are brave enough and humble enough to become the student.