Sunday, January 17, 2016

Where Can I Pray?

'Stepping from the corridor, a little farther on, we went into the long choir, whose clear windows look out over the garden; a spacious room fitted with numerous dark stalls on either side, where the sisters sit, or kneel, chanting their offices; matins and lauds, the last devotion at night, then prime, terce, sext, and none; at different early hours of the morning; vespers in the afternoon; and, in the evening, compline. It is in this place — which is not a part of the chapel, but is a room in the convent, simply looking into the chapel — that they hear mass and perform their other religious exercises; their voices
heard, themselves unseen by (those) who come to the chapel.' (A Story of Courage, p. 35-36)

In the cloister of my heart, I can have a 'choir stall.'  Mine is a portable place of prayer, traveling with me to supermarket, airplane, mall.  I can 'sit down' in this prayer-chair regardless of surroundings, seeking God's touch upon my life and on the lives of those around me.

In a very real way, my 'choir stall' can be defined as the place where I am now. 

Upon awakening in the morning, I can enter my choir stall by beginning my day with a prayer.  This is the framework upon which the rest of the day will be woven. 

At some point during the day, I try to set aside a block of time to spend with God. I spend time in prayer with Scripture. It may also be possible for me to go to Mass or Adoration. 'Even if your daily life in the service of mankind is overburdened with work, it has to include time devoted to silence and to prayer…. Learn to pray!'  (Pope St. John Paul II) 

Throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening, I use brief prayers to return me to my choir stall.  I turn my heart to God with inward phrases of prayer, no matter what I am doing or where I happen to be.  'Jesus, I trust in You…' 'Holy Spirit, be my guide….'

As I begin various activities, I can enter the choir stall by offering my actions to God and imploring His aid.  'O you who fear the Lord, praise Him in the places where you are now. Change of place does not affect any drawing nearer to God, but wherever you may be, God will come to you.' (Gregory of Nyssa).

As I retire, I close the day in my choir stall. 'Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake; watch over us as we sleep, that awake, we may keep watch with Christ, and asleep, rest in His peace.'  (From Liturgy of the Hours, Night Prayer).
(Above text reposted from our archives)


This post is part of our series 'A Story of Courage.' To continue in chronological order, click this line.

1 comment:

  1. Annie, I don't know what I would do without short aspirations!! Sometimes they even turn into longer inner prayers - so I wind up taking my 'choir stall' everywhere!


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