Dt 26: 16-19

This very day the Lord your God is commanding you to observe these statutes and ordinances; so observe them diligently with all your heart and with all your soul. Today you have obtained the Lord’s agreement: to be your God; and for you to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, and his ordinances, and to obey him.

Today the Lord has obtained your agreement: to be his treasured people, as he promised you, and to keep his commandments; for him to set you high above all nations that he has made, in praise and in fame and in honor; and for you to be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations

Keeping Close to God

I used to travel with another young attorney named Dave. When he married and started a family, Dave cast aside the more casual religion of his youth and embraced Orthodox Judaism.

Once we drove through an outlying town at lunchtime. We passed a row of restaurants and cafes, but Dave stopped at a roadside table. He put on his yarmulke and spread out the kosher picnic he had packed for each of us. Silently, he prayed before eating. We ate well enough, but we didn’t dally over lunch. Dave had to be home and out of the car by sundown to observe the weekly Sabbath.

I asked Dave why he had embraced a faith that called for him to make so many adaptations in day-to-day life–in his dress, food, wheels, use of electricity. . . I’ll never forget his response.

“These observances keep me close to God,” Dave answered.  He explained that, in each minute aspect of his life, they were a constant reminder that God is near.

Moses said to the people, “This day the Lord, your God, commands you to observe these statutes and decrees.  Be careful, then, to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul.”

What are the practices and reminders in your everyday life that keep you close to God?

—Mary Anne Reese is an attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio. She graduated from Xavier University’s theology program and belongs to St. Robert Bellarmine Parish. She is also a published poet.


Oh God, help me to walk in Your law. Teach me to observe Your decrees, and to seek You with all my heart. And may I cling to Pope Francis’ assurance: “The reason for our hope is that “God is with us, and God still trusts us.”

—Based on Psalm 119:1-2