May 22, 2018
by Cindy Costanzo
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 342

James 4:1-10
Psalms 55:7-8, 9-10A, 10B-11A, 23
Mark 9:30-37

Praying Ordinary Time

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Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

How the Ordinary Time Readings Are Organized
and Can Help our Prayer

The words, let it go, trust, pray, take deep breaths, be silent and listen are a mantra for me with this week's readings, especially James 4: 1-10. In this ordinary time it is extraordinary for me as I listen to the news of today, to respond to those who depend on me for support, and try to manage the events of the day. I recognize that I may translate my own fears, anxiety, and uncertainty to others in the form of conflict. Does this transference of feelings into conflict “mask” the "battle occurring within myself?”  

If there is conflict in my life what is the conflict really about? James 4:1-10 provides insight to self-examine my personal desires and motives for my actions. 
I ask the following questions: 

Do I manipulate others to achieve my own goals? 
Am I critical of others because I want myself to look good?
Am I reactive and defensive because I am embarrassed or ashamed? 
Am I inflexible so I can stay in control of the situation? or person?
Am I afraid to ask questions because it makes me vulnerable? 
Am I anxious because of fear?

As I wrestle with these thoughts I "hand them over to Jesus." I say a prayer to let go of my selfishness, fears, jealousy, and anxiety. I know these feelings/emotions get in the way with my prayer life and relationship with Jesus. I pray for strength, a positive attitude, an ability to see everyone as a child of God who has a unique purpose in this world. My day takes on a new meaning and I am grateful.  

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