Spiritual readiness, preparation and growth do not just happen. They come as a result of intentional habits built into one’s life. These things come through routine, mundane attention to ordinary spiritual disciplines — making sure we have enough oil: spiritual fuel.

They come when we habitually take time for prayer and being alone with God. They come through reading God’s Word; living a sacramental life; performing acts of service to others; being morally faithful; obeying God with love, and spending time with other Christians for mutual prayer, study and encouragement.

These are the things which, along with the normal difficulties of life, enable a person to grow in Christ and to be prepared for Christ’s coming. Without these things we will not be prepared.

The preparation cannot be hit-or-miss, nor can it be postponed. We dare not procrastinate, lest death come unexpectedly and ruin us. We need to develop these things which encourage our spiritual growth into holy habits in our lives which take precedence over other interests and claims on our time and attention.

As these habits become entrenched, they cease to be a struggle for us and begin to be a source of strength and blessing. They make our lives powerful against the onslaught of the world.

Fr. Joseph Dovari