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The Sacred vs. The Secular

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November 17, 2011 by eric echols

Are the sacred and secular mutually exclusive? How do you balance a life of contemplation, study, and prayer with a life of work, service, and productivity?

There are many that believe you can’t balance the two. If you think about it: busyness can distract us from contemplation & contemplation can insulate us from reality. So how we do live with an eternal focus & also manage the temporal demands that flood us daily?

Gregory the Great said, “activity precedes contemplation, but contemplation must be expressed in service to one’s neighbor”. In other words, we must move from our work to feeding our spirit AND back from feeding our spirit to the practical service of others.

The sacred & the secular are NOT mutually exclusive.

Our Sacred Life (Prayer/Study/Meditation) EQUIPS us for our Secular Life (Work/Productivity/Service).

Our Secular Life (Work/Productivity/Service) GROUNDS us for our Sacred Life (Prayer/Study/Meditation).

A balance between what is sacred & what is secular is necessary to live the life Jesus calls us to live. Much of Jesus’ recorded life was spent serving others, healing the sick, performing miracles, and teaching his disciples. He was able do this because He would frequently step away from the crowd, from the busyness of life, and withdraw for prayer and contemplation.

I wish I were better at living this balance. The times that I do, I have a greater awareness that God is speaking to me in my daily experiences.

How do you balance the sacred and the secular?

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