Remain in him.

John knows exactly what we need as we shift to a slower pace.   He uses the word “remain” six times in this passage alone—a word that can also be translated as “abide.”   Today, we might talk about “settling into” or “resting in” something solid and reliable.   And that happens when we take the time simply to be with the Lord.

That might sound simple, but with so many things competing for our attention, quieting ourselves can be challenging.

Here are some ideas for getting started:

• Make a firm decision to set aside time every day to pray.   Think about your best time and place.   Maybe it’s first thing in the morning, on the edge of your bed.   Maybe it’s a midday visit to the Blessed Sacrament.   It might be a prayer corner in your home.   Try setting a timer for ten minutes.   Sometimes the time may drag, but other days it will fly.

• Put aside your other concerns.   This is not the time for a to-do list or a set of prayer intentions.   Still your mind.   Stray thoughts will probably rise up.   Don’t let them upset you; just choose to ignore them.

• Try to focus on the presence of Jesus, the One who eagerly awaits this time with you.   Maybe fix your attention on an icon or play quiet instrumental music.   You could repeat a Scripture passage or prayer—“Jesus, I trust in you.”

• Finally, the hardest part: just sit.   Open your heart to the Lord.   Tell him that you love him; then be quiet and listen. Stay there for the full ten minutes.

Don’t worry about the results.   Just trust that this time will pay off.   Sometimes you will feel God’s presence.   Sometimes you won’t.   Sometimes you will sense a direction or inspiration for later in the day.   Sometimes you won’t.   Hang onto the habit of quietness, however the encounter with Christ unfolds on a given day.   In the end, you will find yourself refreshed and restored.

word among us