A good example from Saint Isidore the Farmer:
Isidore and his wife Maria had one child, a son, who died very young. After his death, this peasant farming couple devoted themselves entirely to prayer, the Mass, and work.
Saint Isidore prayed hard and worked hard. He committed himself to go to Mass every day as the high point of his prayer. When Isidore invested himself into daily Mass, his work was more abundantly fruitful. His pray hard, work hard rhythm of life provided Isidore with an intimate relationship with God, strong virtues, and an income with which his family always had their needs met and was able to give generously to the poor.
A quick story: Isidore had earned the complete confidence of the property owner he worked for, but his co-workers were envious of him and so they bore false witness to the property owner that Isidore was neglecting his work by praying and going to Mass too much. Isidore explained to his boss that he had to serve God first of all and that God then took care of him and helped him with his work through the ministry of the holy angels. One day when Isidore was at Mass, his employer saw two angels plowing the portion of land Isidore was responsible for.
After predicting the hour of his death, Isidore died at 50 years of age on May 15, 1130. Saint Isidore was canonized in 1622 and his wife Blessed Maria was beatified in 1697.
How will I apply this? (The Challenge):
Step 1: I will go to Mass every day.
Step 2: When I am tempted to think that I cannot possibly go to Mass because I am too busy that day, I will ask the intercession of St. Isidore to help me to pray hard, work hard, and get to Mass as the high point of my daily prayer.
Some possible results:
- In making a firm commitment to draw near to God in daily Mass and pray through any excuses that arise – I may enjoy a new freedom to go to Mass every day without compromise and perhaps without even needing to think much about it.
- I may enjoy a greater closeness to our one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – leading to my mind and heart being more attuned to His.
- I may strengthen my will, growing in fortitude and in all the theological and cardinal virtues – becoming a better worker, accomplishing more and bearing greater fruit in my efforts, by becoming a better man.
Saint Isidore, pray for us!