The Routine of Love

Do you have daily routines that ground you in something you consider important?  A ritual of sorts that makes you recall your motivating factor or your original desire for something or someone?  I, for instance, try each morning as soon as I wake up to make a sign of the cross and then nod in the direction of the only picture I have in my bedroom: that of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  It reminds me of why I am a priest: because I love Jesus Christ more than anything in the world. 

Studies have shown that couples who give a kiss or hug before leaving the house in the morning and another before going to bed at night are better off than those who do not.  The spiritual writer Ronald Rolheiser writes, "It is a ritual, an act that is done regularly, precisely to say what our hearts and heads cannot always say, namely, that the deepest part of us remains committed even during those times when we are too tired or self-preoccupied to be as attentive and present as we should be."

            "Whoever remains in me and I him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5).  The success to anything in life is to remain in your original love and to never lose sight of that.  There are a lot of other factors that come into play that we must tend to--career, children, responsibilities--but we can never lose sight of that original love.  This is another reason why ritual and rote prayers in the Catholic tradition, particularly the rosary or "grace before meals," are so helpful.  They show our commitment to Christ.  If we remain in our love, particularly for Christ, we will bear fruit.

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