My main struggle is with distractions, and not just during prayer. I battle distractions (especially now that I'm getting 'older') when I read books as well, or when I try to watch a film, or even sometimes in conversation.
Which is why I'm thankful for the many aids we've been given to help us pray. Just today, sidetracked during the Office of Morning Prayer, I found my way back more than once through words on paper before me.
I may have shared every one of these helps here before, but they are definitely worth another mention. So in case anyone else has a mind that 'drifts' now and then, here are some keys I've found to help open doors to prayer. While these are readily accessible without needing to be sought online, I am including links for anyone who may find those beneficial.
Scripture. The current day's Mass readings are an ideal source for Lectio Divina. These can be found by starting here, or here.
The Divine Office. This is the prayer of the Church, in which nuns, monks, clergy, religious and laity all over the world are participating, as one, on the same days. In addition to being available in bound volumes, this is free with no registration necessary online at Divine Office.org . The entire day of prayer is right there, printed and with (optional) audio. Bound volumes are available through the link as well.
The Rosary. If anyone finds it helpful to pray with others (who are praying at the same time), this link at Come Pray the Rosary offers that opportunity.
The Stations of the Cross are especially appropriate during this holy season. I sometimes spend time with the paintings and video here at Prie Dieu.
"You aren't the only one to be distracted from the presence of God. I understand completely. Our minds are so flighty. But remember that our God-given will governs all of our strength." (Brother Lawrence)
"It isn't necessary to be too verbose in prayer, because lengthy prayers encourage wandering thoughts. Simply present yourself to God as if you were a poor man knocking on the door of a rich man, and fix your attention on His presence. If your mind wanders at times, don't be upset, because being upset will only distract you more. Allow your will to recall your attention gently to God. Such perseverance will please Him. (Brother Lawrence)
"When it’s God Who is speaking.. the proper way to behave is to imitate someone who has an irresistible curiosity and who listens at keyholes. You must listen to everything God says at the keyhole of your heart." (St. John Vianney)
Nancy, thanks for these suggestions! I especially love the St. John Vianney quote!ReplyDelete
I love that one too, Anne!Delete
This is so helpful...Thank you so much...May we practice listening "at the keyhole" of our hearts. Love that too!ReplyDelete