Sometimes, when I find myself overwhelmed, distracted, and drowning in deadlines and busywork, it’s easy to lose focus of what I should be doing and to flounder along. In these situations, I am usually in over my head and don’t know where to start to dig out of the chaos I’m in. Putting my headphones in and shutting my office door helps, but I often find the most success when I take a two minute break to quietly collect my thoughts, meditate on Christ as the center of my life, and ask my Guardian Angel where to dive in first. How do I do that? Here are five ways that help me – but I’d love your suggestions, too!
1 : Live-Stream Jesus. One of the coolest things I’ve EVER seen on the internet is real-time, live-streaming Adoration. At first I thought it was kind of weird, but the more I thought about it, it made perfect sense. If you’re sick, homebound, or stuck at work – Jesus is always there and waiting. Believe it or not, there are several websites where you can Adore online. Of course, that feeling of physical closeness is naturally diminished, but sometimes just gazing for a few moments is enough to get my day back on track. Check out St. Martin of Tours of Louisville, KY Online Presence and this view at Savior.Org.
2 : Spiritual Communion. Many times, I want nothing more than to duck out of my office building and find the nearest daily Mass. Because I have a 30 minute lunch, though, this would mean I’d either need to stay late to make up the time or use vacation hours to cover the 1.5 hour round-trip it would be to actually make this happen. Sometimes, I will do this, but more often, I make a Spiritual Communion at my desk. St. Thomas Aquinas describes a Spiritual Communion as “an ardent desire to receive Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament [in Communion at Mass] and in lovingly embracing Him as if we had actually received Him.” My favorite prayer for this is by St. Alphonsus de Liguori:
“My Jesus, I believe that Thou art present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love Thee above all things and I desire Thee in my soul. Since I cannot now receive Thee sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though thou wert already there, I embrace Thee and unite myself wholly to Thee; permit not that I should ever be separated from Thee.”
3 : Quick, time-specific prayers like the Angelus at noon or the Divine Mercy Chaplet (or even a spoken “Jesus, I Trust In You”) at 3pm. Like quick and easy “mini-retreats” that are consistent and unchanging, these “prayer check-ins” are at the same time every day, helping me to regularly zone in and recharge for the next few hours.
4 : Holy card or favorite image nearby. My favorite image of Christ is of His Divine Mercy, so I have a Divine Mercy holy card taped to my computer. Additionally, I struggle sometimes with the idea that for this season of my life, God is asking me to fulfill my role as breadwinner. When I am particularly challenged in this way, I look to Mary’s “Fiat!” as a model for my own life. Because of this, I also have a picture of the Annunciation gracing my workstation. These two holy images have steeled my resolve and worked as conduits for the graces needed to persevere in my workday.
5 : Morning Offering for Work. Superman and I pray together each morning before I leave for work. Part of our routine includes a general morning offering, giving the days joys, successes, and challenges to Our Lord. However, I also like to offer up the specific work I have scheduled for the day, usually while my computer boots up. It can be as simple a prayer as “Lord, I give you my Outlook calendar and inbox today, and everything that comes my way.” Sometimes, it can be a bit more formal:
“O Jesus, through your most Immaculate Mother, I offer You the trials ans successes of this workday. May my words, deeds, and decisions be guided today by your Holy Spirit. Make me a light in the darkness; hold my tongue when gossip and idle chatter are temptations to sin. I offer You the annoyances, humiliations, and inconveniences of this day, and thank you for the opportunities to grow closer to You through humility. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of my employment, and help me to be ever-mindful of those searching for work. Bless the fruits of my labor today, O Lord, and I ask You to use it for Your greater glory and for the salvation of souls. St. Joseph the Worker, pray for me!”
What techniques do you use to mentally “check in” with Our Lord during your workday? Please share your suggestions in the comments!