A morning ritual – How to set meaningful priorities

Every weekday morning at 6:30 I keep an appointment at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic parish. I’m rarely on time, because I get caught up in my morning reading and researching of investments and other business matters.

So I slide into the pew a few minutes late — sometimes arriving just before Holy Communion. But I always make it there. I intentionally carve out this time in my day for reflection with God.

We all fall short, and that’s OK. The point is to set priorities in life — meaningful, fulfilling priorities. Then act on them.

I make this daily Mass a ritual because it’s a start. It’s a reminder of my priorities. I struggle with balance and “turning it off.” I generally wake up at 3 a.m., sometimes earlier if my body won’t settle because my brain won’t rest. I’m distracted and tired some days, I need refreshment. That’s one reason why I make it to church. But there are others.

I don’t want to be in a situation one day down the road where I fall short of where I should be as a whole person. I don’t want to have a conversation with God where He asks, “Why do you only come around when you need me? What about this priority?” So, I make church, my faith, a priority and this daily commitment keeps me grounded.

I’ve been attending church in the morning for the last 20 years. I work to be present. I try to tune in. I’m there to receive, to learn, to confess, to say, “I don’t get it right all the time. I want to do it better.”

I want to receive Holy Communion in the morning. I want to read the Gospel every day, meditate and hear the reflection of the day. There are so many lessons in every verse of the Scripture. I want to take them all in and apply them to my life.

I’m not perfect. None of us are. But I’m constantly working on balance, focusing on what matters to me most. That begins with my daily “appointment.”

People get different messages in different ways. For some it’s sitting in church and listening to the Gospel. For others it’s listening to music or taking a long walk. Sometimes it’s seeing someone treat another person in a way we don’t like, then vowing to not do the same.

We get messages all day long on how to live better, more loving lives. Are we tuned in to the messages? The reality is, not always. Maybe never. Isn’t it time to be more tuned in? We each have an opportunity every day to make a difference by doing ordinary things.

How do you remind yourself of what matters most? How do you press the “reset button” on a daily basis and check in with something deeper than a deadline or a big deal?

Make an appointment to do something positive every day, whatever fills your cup, refreshes your spirit and reminds you of what matters most. For me, attending Mass daily brings more balance to my life. It reminds me that every action I take, every interaction I have, should be done with love.

Umberto P. Fedeli is president and CEO of The Fedeli Group. This is the first in an ongoing series featuring excerpts from Umberto P. Fedeli’s forthcoming book, “Lessons Learned, Lessons Shared,” published by Smart Business Books.