Blog/CYM Blog

When Worship and Work Get Mixed Up

In ministry, it can be hard to separate our worship from our work. We want to ensure that our teens have prayerful experiences, but sometimes that means we lose sight of the beauty of the worship right in front of us. We allow ourselves to be Marthas so our teens and Core can have Mary experiences (Luke 10:38-42).

Other times, as we try to keep up with our own spirituality, when we run down to Mass on a break from work, we can still feel like we’re working – at least it happens to me! I find myself at daily Mass or even Eucharistic Adoration occasionally where I can only think about what I need to remember to do or ask Father, or which parishioner either I need to catch after Mass or I think will need to catch me.

Here are a few ways that have helped me turn my priorities back to worship.

  1. Take a Mass-cation. It’s like a vacation . . . not from Mass, but from Mass at your own parish. Hearing a priest preach who I have nothing to say to after Mass but “thank you, Father” has helped me to focus more on the homily. This has made getting to daily Mass a little less convenient than walking down the hall before lunch, but it has caused me to plan my day around worship, rather than fitting worship into my day.
  2. Dedicate a certain aspect of your prayer life to personal intentions only. Yes, we should pray for our teens, and our programs, and our pastors, and our parish. We should also pray for ourselves, for what is going on in our own hearts and minds. When a friend was teaching me the Liturgy of the Hours, he suggested that I offer Night Prayer for my own intention; which I’ve kept to, more or less.
  3. Make sure to be pursuing prayerful experiences on your own. Don’t wait to go to Confession until you’re offering it to the teens. Don’t wait to spend time in Adoration until the next XLT or retreat. Be intentional about setting aside prayer time that is yours!
  4. Find an accountability prayer partner. Seek out someone who you can be (painfully) honest with and ask if they’d be willing to hold you accountable to a prayer commitment. Maybe another youth minister nearby or your Life Teen Area Contact.

Question: Have you ever felt like you spend more time working than worshiping? What are some things that help get you out of the kitchen like Martha and put you back at the feet of Jesus like Mary?

About the Author

Betsy Amico

Betsy Amico is a walking karaoke machine - "Jesus music" lyrics are her specialty. She is also obsessed with downloading Catholic apps on the touch screen phone she swore she'd never own. Betsy's bucket list includes living a life that makes Satan angry, owning a Chick Fil A in Buffalo, visiting every Basilica in the US and making the Camino. She is blessed to have grown up in a Life Teen parish, where God took hold of her heart and led her into working in youth ministry. Betsy has been a youth minister in the Diocese of Buffalo, NY since 2005 and is currently the Director of Ichthus Youth Ministry, the combined youth ministry of Queen of Heaven and St John Vianney Parishes.

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