Abba Matoes said, "I prefer a light and steady activity, to one that is painful at the beginning but is soon broken off"
Reading: Luke 22:39-46
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. 40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
45 When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. 46 “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.”
The ancient church fathers devoted a large part of their teaching to developing a framework for daily worship. Everything else in daily like must give way to this essential activity. St. Romuald says:
The path you must follow is in the Psalms – never leave it. If you have just come to the monastery, and in spite of your good will you cannot accomplish what you want, then take every opportunity you can to sing the Psalms in your heart and to understand them with your mind."
But even this is a grace from God rather than a legalistic duty. Daily worship is not meant to be an "all or nothing" project. However, in order for even some worship to routinely take place, something else in life has to give way. Wiggling free of important obligations is not easy but worth the result.
Today, yet again, I’ll give up some valued time to spend it with God. Just because it’s harder than I expected doesn’t mean it won’t be worthwhile.
Lord, if this was easy I would have got it right by now. Encourage me in my determination to succeed in this.