Checking In

Even in these times, when like Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog, we emerge from our pandemic shells, if you are attentive, you begin to notice the tidal changes in daily life. As you adjust to the new normal, now is a good time to consider things. Maybe some of the basics. For example, what am I grateful for in my life? And then consider if you have given any demonstrable witness to that gratitude. Maybe, “I am grateful for my family” is on the list, but have you expressed it to them?

What about the foundations of your life? Do you know what they are? Be you butcher, baker, or candlestick maker; priest, prophet, or king; teacher, toddler, or tailor; whatever the life you lead, what are the foundations? Hopefully, one item that is common to us all is prayer. What is the shape, contour, and depth of your life in prayer – your conversation with God.

We friars are blessed with a communal call to prayer. Every day at 7:45 am and 5:15 pm we gather together for common prayer. Doesn’t matter if we feel like it or not. Sometimes, it is the very day your mind is somewhere else, you are anxious to get on with the next thing, and you are just showing up because you are supposed to, that God’s grace can touch you in the most unexpected way. That is just communal prayer. There is also individual prayer.

It is the habitus of prayer. Habitus from the Latin meaning “the manner in which you dress yourself, your attire.” Daily prayer is the divine “dress for success” program. Just as you might pick your wardrobe based on what you have to do on this particular day, so too, prayer can be tailored, focused on what the day may present.

It was a good time to check the wardrobe, the habitus, to see if something new is needed, something old repaired and stitched, or just a spring cleaning.

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