People often ask me what is the best way to praise God. I am not sure that there is a ‘best’ way to praise God. I do know that there are as many ways as there are people God has created and then some more! I do not think it is a question of looking for the overall best way to praise God, but to praise Him in the midst of whatever we happen to doing.

The Gospel speaks of people looking for signs that the end of the world is near. Now this is not a total waste of time, however, I think it is getting close to it. If we were able, and we are not, to know the date of the end of the world all that would serve to do is cause panic and mayhem! The best way to approach the end of the world is to go about your regular business every day as if the end of the world was going to be in the relatively near future. If we allow our focus to narrow too soon our witness of God’s love to the world will suffer, as we will tend to be concerned about getting ourselves ready for the event, rather than proclaiming the Gospel for all to hear.

I think one of the strongest witness opportunities we get to bring the Good News of God’s love for us all to the world is when we have the privilege to suffer for the sake of the Kingdom of God. When we are persecuted for our faith it is the Gospel that is the winner! We follow most closely in the footsteps of Christ when we embrace suffering for the Gospel and unite it with His suffering on the cross. The final beatitude in Mt 5 tells us as much.

Going back to a more general praise of God, perhaps we are now in a position to clarify things a bit more. God has given us the gift of life through which we are to choose to follow Him and serve Him. Maybe the best way each of us can praise God in our lives is to be true to who He has created us to be! If we live a good and full life, perhaps that is the greatest praise we can offer the Lord? Jesus certainly does not require us to be performing extraordinary acts of penance and wonderful miracles all of the time. Though it would be good if they were a part of His will for us every now and then!

How can I love more in the everyday actions of my life? What can I do to take the focus off myself and place it on God and others?

Jesus, you are the greatest lover the world has ever seen. You teach us to love by doing the simple things in our lives well. Your life challenges the selfishness of mine. Help me to respond in love to the needs of those around me.