What will you do “eternal” this week?
(Thanks to my friend, Tony Allen, for asking me that question!)
You and I may have grand plans for this week.
BUT, may I encourage you, before Monday’s Sun rises,
to capture five-minutes of distraction-free solitude?
Examine your motivation — the underlying motives for your upcoming work, actions, plans, and achievements.
Will your actions bring material and emotional gain or
will your activities build up treasure in heaven?
In every effort, what would you estimate will be your “eternal” return on investment (Your EROI)?
Will your actions be rated “works of the law,” “dead works,” “faith works,” “good works?” Will you work to provide for your family grudgingly, out of legal responsibility or joyfully, because it is your bounden duty, your sacred honor, your love-debt? Are you giving to the poor out of necessity, thinking you can use the tax-deduction and business recognition or is your giving empowered by faith working by love? Are you sharing your faith, giving thanks publicly in prayer over your meals, and inviting others to church to maintain your reputation and standing or because your heart and soul are full of thanksgiving, gratitude, and genuine love for your God and neighbor? Shepherds, are you taking the faith-risk of leaving the 99 and searching for that one lost lamb?
By outward appearances, your actions may seem noble and praiseworthy. But through spiritual discernment, experience, your spiritual father, director, godfather, godmother, pastor, and priest, you can REDEEM the time, “revenge all disobedience,” turn “dead works” into “good works,” and develop your treasures in heaven.
(REMEMBER: “laying up for yourselves treasure in heaven” as described in Matthew 6, is not just about increasing your pension to withdraw after you die. Even TODAY – this very week, many “now-refined,” heavenly treasures are needed. These preordained, manifestations of and by the Holy Spirit are given to us for profit. So we work, not in vain for the food that perishes. But we, as Day–Laborors, work in the already white harvest fields.
In our continual prayer to the Holy Spirit, we faith-speak, “O Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, Everywhere Present and Filling All Things, TREASURER of blessings (good things), and Giver of Life,
Come, abide in us, cleanse us from every stain of sin and save our souls, O Good One.” (The beginning of the Trisagion Prayers).
It is THE SAME Holy Spirit who baptized you into Christ, that sealed you at your Confirmation and Chrismation. The Holy Spirit, abiding in you, is THE Treasurer of these “good things” – these “Heavenly Blessings” in Christ Jesus! The Holy Spirit is willing, are you?
Capture Five Minutes before the morning mayhem cranks up.
Reserve, Redeem, and Defend this time and PRAY…
“O Lord, grant that I may greet the coming day in peace.
Help me to rely on your holy will at every moment.
In every hour of the day, reveal your will to me.
Bless my time with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat whatever may happen to me
throughout the day with peace of soul and
with firm conviction that your will governs all.
In all my deeds and words, guide my thoughts and feelings.
In unforeseen events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely,
without embittering or embarrassing others.
Give me the strength to bear the fatigue of the
coming day with all that it will bring.
Direct my will.
Teach me to pray, and pray yourself in me. Amen.”
(A Prayer by Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow)
You may want to, (as you have seen others do), deliberately consecrate every new hour and activity by purposefully making the Sign of the Cross, invoking the Holy Trinity. You are conscientiously building the eternal Kingdom of Heaven right here, right now. The Eternal Return on Investment (EROI) could be thirtyfold, sixtyfold, or even a hundredfold, now, and in the age to come life ETERNAL!
Glory to God for All Things!
Love, in Christ!
Rev. Fr. Wade Fahnestock+
St. Andrew the First Called
Orthodox Catholic Church Mission