i posted on praying the hours before. our 'reflection pool' that works on issues of faith as a way of life is going to consider faith and work at our april 2005 gathering. so i've assigned them the shared practice of prayer. but that, complained catherine brunell, who is a young catholic lay minister in the group, that is waaay to general. pray what when how where why? and my response to them is pray during the day, at specific times. don't necessarily pray the divine office, but pray the hours in the sense of keeping a daily schedule of hours when you stop to pray. it is an ancient christian practice, and before that jewish. muslims do it, too. but too many of us just barge right through our week without any discipline whatsoever in our prayer life. just now, it was lunch--12:00 noon--and i heard the carillon from down on the main yale campus bonging out the hour. i stopped my frenetic paper shuffling and emailing and went over to my other chair. i think it helps to have another space and here is mine:
it is no more than three feet from my desk, but the distance makes a difference when your desk looks like this.
i use the three volume prayer book titled 'the divine hours' edited by phyllis tickle. she's prayed the hours for 30 years as a protestant lay women. hmm. she calls it 'fixed hour prayer' which is a pretty good description of what i'm after. as i do the fixed hour prayer, i am also slowing reading through two devotional books (literally one paragraph each time i stop for prayer: 9, 12, 3; plus i pray with my family every day at breakfast, at dinner, and at bedtime, and those times i don't read--try reading benedict to a 4 year old who wants to read about 'little pony' or 'd.w. beats up her older brother, arthur'.) the two books are 'the rule of st. benedict' and 'living faith day by day' on using ancient rules for living faith today (by debra k. farrington).
farrington says that rules work on us by 'balancing our lives and ordering them around god' interesting. too often i hear longing to find balance in order to find time for oneself. here, the reason is to find time for god.
work and prayer. labora et ora.
much more on this to come. find another blog if you're not into it.
anon, and +peace