What is the connection between minding our own affairs and growth in prayer?
St. Teresa of Avila explains that serious people are likely to be agitated and even shocked at all sorts of things that occur through the typical day. Their inner peace is unsettled, and prayer is hindered.
Another reason is that those who meddle in other people’s concerns are likely to make mistakes in their judgment and even to offer misguiding advice.
Thus, says Teresa, we ought to let God take care of his own. She observes likewise that pain is often enough caused to the one in whose business we are meddling, but the most pointed reason is that people who are minding others’ affairs are not minding their own.
If our mind is free enough to notice what others are doing, it is free enough to carry out what Scripture repeatedly tells us, namely, to keep our eyes always on the Lord, to sing to Him in our hearts always and everywhere.
The saint considers distress over the sins and failings of others in everyday life as a demonic temptation. The devil puts it into people’s heads that their meddling really arises from a desire that God be not offended and be better served. They usually focus on the petty faults of which the world is full. A pervasive concern disturbs peace. All the while meddlers consider that they are being virtuous in their preoccupations.
Teresa’s conclusion is that ‘the safe path for the soul that practices prayer will be not to bother about anything or anyone and to pay attention to itself and to pleasing God.’
May our Lord Bless you—Fr. Vic