In the World but Not of this World

One thing that I continually struggle with is living in this world but not being “of this world.”  Part of me wants to pull up roots with my little family and transplant us to the middle of nowhere – isolation from most everyone and most everything but the eyes of God.  Life in the middle of nowhere could be more difficult in terms of inconveniences, lack of luxuries, and loneliness.   On the other hand, it would be ever so much easier to stay focused on God and family – in that order.  I really think that I could embrace the simplicity of life in semi-isolation.  I like people very much, but I think I’d be o.k with being alone much of the time.

Everytime I take the kids on retreat at the Teresian convent situated on several acres on the outskirts of town, I think, “I so could have lived this life.”  I hang out there as long as possible soaking in the silence and the beauty – until my real vocation in this life calls me to go home.

I know that generations past have surely had their shared of heartache and difficulty – war and sacrifice.  Still, I believe that 2015 must be the most difficult time in history to raise children.  There is so much vying for (an often winning) their attention – their souls.  It’s enough to keep a parent permanently on his/her knees.  However, as adults, we have our own noise, distractions, chaos and evil trying to pull us away.  It’s wicked.

For my family, I don’t think it would be right for us to “run away” in an effort to shield ourselves from outside forces – in order to achieve peace.  For some families, this may be just what God wants them to do.  I believe that the Lord wants my family to live in the thick of things – to try (with His help) to bring others to Christ – to share Christ’s light with a weary world.  Sometimes, I become discouraged and weary myself, and that idea of flight over fight takes hold once again.

What is the answer?  In order to be a good disciple, it takes discipline.  Discipline means doing what is right or good even (and especially when) you don’t feel like it.  I don’t even like the word, “discipline.”  I’m more of a creative spirit – led very much by my heart.  Sometimes that works to accomplish God’s Will, and sometimes He needs me to do what I don’t feel like doing in order that His Will be done.  Gosh!  It’s so hard!

All that I know is that His love makes it all worth it.  He is the pearl of great price that is worth selling everything or giving everything up for.  I would love to love God in a manner that is not lazy, fickle or ruled by emotion.  I want to love Him as St. Therese’ or St. Gemma loved Him. I guess I should just love Him as Dana loves Him.

I had a dream last night.  In the dream I saw Jesus in a room filled with people who were talking to Him and demanding His attention.  I waited patiently, though eagerly.  I wanted to ask Him if He knew how much I loved Him, but could not get a word in edgewise.   At the moment that the thought crossed my mind, He looked at me through the crowd (as though He had read my mind) and said, “I Do know.”  I melted!  I felt so loved and so grateful.

He knows that I’m trying.  He knows my heart!  He knows your heart.  Oh my goodness, can you imagine what we could do for Him if we could remain united with Him in mind and in spirit – if we truly loved Him as we should?  That is the challenge of living in this world but not of the world.  Lifting all of my fellow travelers on this precarious journey up in prayer!  Hang in there.  Stay strong…and when you fall, remember these words from scripture :

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 

Corinthians 12:9


About danardoyle

I am a Catholic, working wife and mother. I have three children ages 14, 20 and 27. I am extremely busy, as you can imagine. I aim each and every day to put God first in my life, to teach my children the Faith, to be a supportive spouse, keep the house in order, and do my job outside of the home well, too. That's an impossible task - without Divine intervention! Here, I hope to share my triumphs and struggles with other working moms in the same boat. I will share the tools I have discovered to making it all work - most days!
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2 Responses to In the World but Not of this World

  1. My dear friend in Christ,

    “Thee Answer” {if there really is ONE?”}

    Is to pray and teach your family to pray daily:
    “Lord help me never to forget to allow You to be in Charge of my life”

    Continued Blessings,


  2. “*Detachment from the World*

    *Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio*

    Peter and Andrew were businessmen. So were their neighbors, James and John. They tried to wring a living out of the Sea of Galilee, and it probably took nearly all of the time and energy that they had.

    [image: Answering the Call]So it would have been easy to pass on the chance to hear some new prophet proclaim that the Kingdom of God had finally arrived. And then, having heard this message, they could have rolled their eyes and chuckled about how they hoped that this Kingdom would put more fish in the lake. Or they could have made excuses that this was all very interesting, but following the wandering rabbi from Nazareth was more suitable for single men with no mouths to feed.

    No, when Jesus invited them to learn to catch men instead of Tilapia, they dropped their nets, abandoned their business, and went on the road.

    Is it wrong to have a family? Is it wrong to be in business? Are these secular activities inappropriate for a disciple of Jesus?

    [image: Peter, Andrew, Fishers of Men, Catholic Online Resources]Not in the least. The Church teaches that we can serve the Lord and grow in holiness through any honest task, whether we be single or married. But St. Paul also tells us that the Christian engaged in secular activities must inwardly detach from them: “those who have wives should live as though they have none . . . buyers should conduct themselves as if they owned nothing, and those who make use of the world as though they were not using it, for the world as we know it is passing away.” (I Cor 7:29-31)

    The word “secular” means “of this world.” Now it is true that God likes this world.After all, he created it. But when sinful humanity gets a hold of the things of this passing world, it doesn’t want to let go. It becomes engrossed, absorbed, consumed with it to the neglect of what lasts forever, namely theKingdom of God.

    [image: Christian Business Leadership – Peter, Andrew, Fishers of Men]In Jesus, the Kingdom has touched down on planet earth. We need to re-form our lives, which is not only to say repent from sin, but actually structure our lives totally around the kingdom and its priorities. Kingdom priorities might dictate that many enter into the sacrament of matrimony in order to raise up new heralds of the kingdom and leaders of God’s people. And Christ may call others to involve themselves in business so as to provide financially for God’s work and to infuse Christian values into the marketplace.

    Detachment does not mean that you shouldn’t enjoy your secular pursuits and approach them with energy and enthusiasm. It just means that your daily activity must be placed on the altar, offered up to God as a living sacrifice. And you must be ever ready to walk away from your activities at a moment’s notice, should Jesus call you to do so.

    Moments of truth will come to test just how serious we about living for God rather than for sports, careers and even families.

    [image: Peter, Andrew, Fishers of Men]Yes families. There are times when duty calls soldiers to leave their families. The same holds true for breadwinners–my great-grandfather left family behind in Italyfor several years while he prepared a better place for them in America. So why should we be surprised that at times some may be called to leave family for the sake of the Kingdom of God?

    We may not be called literally to leave all behind to walk the dusty trails of Israel.But there will come a moment when we may hear an invitation to decline a scholarship, or a promotion, or a romance for the sake of the Kingdom.

    As the gospel story unfolds, we learn that the apostles have more than a few shortcomings. But we have to admit this–that when that initial call came, as challenging as it was, they made no excuses. Can the same be said for us?

    *This was originally published in Our Sunday Visitor as a reflection upon the readings for the 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, liturgical cycle B (Jon 3:1-5,10; Ps 25, I Cor 7:29-31; Mk 1:14-20). It is reproduced here with the permission of the author.*

    *Para Espanol – haga “click” aqui! “*

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