Sunday, June 29, 2014

Making Time (More) Holy

I was impressed, years ago, to learn that people of Islamic faith are required to stop what they are doing at five set times each day and put their face to the carpet in prayer.

The Catholic Church, too, though, makes time holy.  The year flows through a liturgical cycle of colors and saints. In addition, each month of the year and day of the week has traditionally been dedicated to something specific.  For example, every May and every Saturday are dedicated to the Blessed Mother, the souls in purgatory get November and every Sunday is about the Resurrection.

Then there is the Liturgy of the Hours, the prayer of the Church, which, recited by religious and lay people at set times each day, with the passing of the time zones around the world, sends up a steady stream of prayer and psalms.

The Angelus is traditionally said at 6AM, noon and 6PM; the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3PM.

You bless your meals, right?  Right????  You pray your good-night prayer and maybe your morning offering.

What, you say, you want MORE?!  (You are really "hard-core", you know that?)

I would like to say that spiritually I have reached a place where my whole day was a constant breath of love given and received between my Lord and I.  It would not be true.  So instead of guiding you to that happy place, I propose some rather unusual ideas for more triggers to remind us throughout the course of our days WHO LOVES US!  :)

1)  Hi, God! - Over the course of many years I noticed that I was seeing 1:11 and 11:11 a lot on digital clocks. Not 2:22 or 1:12, always just the "1's".   It got to be a joke with me and then I decided that it was probably just God saying "hi".  My kids think this is funny and always point it out to me. Then we wave "hi" back to God.  My son enjoys this so much that he has to also wait for and point out 2:22, 3:33, 4:44 . . . 7:77 (just kidding).

2)  Everytime I . . . - Have a favorite memorized prayer?  What daily/hourly/regular activity can you use as a trigger to remind you to say that prayer?  I have experimented with one specific prayer to say when I make the bed, one while doing laundry, even one to pray silently to myself whenever I walk into a bathroom. Maybe praying whenever one gets in a car would be a good trigger.  (To help me remember, I have lots of beginning drivers in my family.)

I would, also, like to be better at "praying the news".  That would be listening to the news like one actually cared about the people talked about and praying for them as one listens.

3) Prayer Clock - Does it seem like there are just SO MANY people you should be praying for, like, forever?  Of course, you need to pray for your family.  Don't forget your godchildren.  Don't forget the poor. Uncle Bob with his surgery coming up . . .

I experimented for a while with dedicating each waking hour of my day to different prayer requests. For example, every 9 - 10 AM could be for the unemployed.  Any prayer-time that happens to occur in that window each day is dedicated to the unemployed.  Any boo-boos (stubbed toes, medical treatments, etc.) that occur during that time would be offered up for that intention.  Any sacrifices made during that window would be offered as well.

These are just some wild ideas about how to make time more holy.  They are not meant to intimidate or obligate.  If you see something you like, TRY IT.  Your suggestions are welcome in the comments section, too.  :)

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