May 15, 2013

As much as I’ve tried from time to time to cultivate a daily time of prayer at my prayer table, I just haven’t been able to make it stick. My prayer table is always covered with the linen in the color of whatever season of the Church Year it happens to be and, sharing the same house space as my home office, it’s still a comfort to be near when the days get beyond long and beyond hectic. But taking time out for a spell of quiet prayer at the table is just not happening for me at this point in time.

…which is not to say God and prayer are not on my mind or not in my consciousness constantly – in fact, I find myself thinking spiritually more often recently than I have in the past couple of years. I think there are several reasons for that:

1. Like many Roman Catholics worldwide, I’m pretty psyched about our new Pope and the way he is going about his business. He’s not the kind of guy who’s going to tolerate the status quo or pay lip service to the Vatican power structure – he’s committed to bringing a call to holiness to the masses, and he’s not afraid to walk with the common folk or ruffle a few feathers in order to make his point. His call to a greater holiness is my own call to a greater holiness.

2. Here in my 58th year of existence I guess I’m feeling the need to adopt a greater sense of spiritual balance – not just in what I do on a day-to-day basis, but why I do it to begin with. I’m not going to kid myself – the days of big ideas, big dreams, and big achievements are over with (unless, of course, God has other plans in mind!), and it’s the smaller things that are becoming more important to me. Getting out of debt once again, I think, will help that out a great deal, as there are charities and organizations I’d like to have the flexibility to at least consider playing a larger role in going forward.

3. I’ve felt a need to revisit the monastic roots of my spiritual conversion back in 1994 through the writings of Henri Nouwen (specifically, his The Genesee Diary and The Road To Daybreak) and Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection(his Practice of the Presence of God), and their own ideas on living a life of prayer through everyday activities and contemplative prayer.

4. My new daily subscription to the Society of St. John the Evangelist, where they’ll send you a daily meditation in the form of a sentence or two really kicks off my day and gives me something to contemplate throughout the day. I highly recommend it to everyone, and it costs nothing to subscribe!

All of which brings me to my prayer candle, which I’ve set up adjacent to my work area. A year ago I stumbled upon Church Candles Online and found some really nice 5-day candles to center my spiritual life around. Every Sunday a new one is lit with a short prayer for those I love and care for, and those in need of prayer. Sometimes it’s a little more than that – for God’s light and the warmth of His love and presence to be seen and felt by more people in this troubled world, or growth in His Church and an increase amongst God’s faithful. But always, it is lit with the hope and prayer that my family, friends, and loved ones whom I’ve shared my journey with all these years will always be in God’s care, in this world and the next. At night, whenever I’m out by the far end of the pool or taking the trash or recyclables out and passing by my office window there’s great comfort in seeing that candle burning brightly, whether during the day or at night.

Tonight my prayers and thoughts are with my neighbor John’s mother Lucy, who has been fighting Alzheimer’s and a variety of other ailments. She’s living out her remaining hours home with John and Mary so her friends and loved ones can pay their final goodbyes. Only met her a few times before she really got bad, and she was a very nice and classy lady. May she know deep within her God’s abiding presence and healing spirit as she moves from this life to glory in the next.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 02:07 | Comments (0)
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