Setting aside a time for prayer is always a difficult task. In a special way, those who are married and have children, bringing out 15 to 30 minutes for quiet prayer time can seem almost impossible.
Even when we try to set aside time for prayer, little hands and voices would inevitably interrupt it.
For instance, you might decide that tomorrow you will wake up one hour early in order to spend the morning reading a good spiritual book or simply rest in quiet meditation.
As you just wake up early, sit in your comfy chair, and open up your book. After some minutes of quiet bliss, your youngest child or your kid sibling wakes up and runs down the steps and immediately starts asking for breakfast.
And then, there goes your only quiet time for the whole day!
Or to give another example, you may not have children at home and every day you have a particular time when you can sit down to pray. And for the most part you are never interrupted, but one day you just have to sit down and shortly then, your neighbor calls and has a question. You answer the question and then go back to prayer.
But after some short minutes someone calls from church and has a different question. Then after few minutes, the door-bell rings and at that point you see yourself answering the door in a very “uncharitable” manner!
But in some cases like this, St. Francis de Sales encourages us not to get angry when interrupted in these ways. He went on to relate a miraculous story from the life of St. Frances of Rome.
One day St. Frances was reciting the Office of Our Lady, and, as it commonly occurs that if there is but one affair in the whole day, it presses their time of prayer, so this holy lady was called away by her husband for some household issues, and four separate times thinking to take up the thread of her Office again, she was called again from it, and she was constrained to interrupt the same verse, till this blessed affair, in which they had so interrupted her prayer importunately, as she finished at last, when she went back to her Office she found the verse, so often left by obedience and so often recommenced by devotion, all written in fair golden letters.
St. Francis uses this example to explain how, “necessary employments, according to each person’s vocation, do not diminish Divine love, but rather increase it, and gild, as it were, the work of devotion.
As the nightingale loves her melody no less when she makes her pauses than when she sings; so as the devout heart loves love no less when she turns to exterior necessities than when she prays: both her silence and her speech, her action and her contemplation, her employment and her rest, as well sing in her the hymn of her love.”
As prayer is a precious time to nurture our love of God, we should also view our various obligations as a means to increase our union with God. Our whole lives are supposed to be a fragrant offering to God, whether we are alone in prayer, or busy about our activities around the house.
Each moment in our life is a gift. It’s now up to us to use those moments to glorify God.