I can’t be the only one who struggles sometimes to separate myself from all of it – all the chaos, all the triviality, the trifling non-important things, the time-wasters that seek to occupy our every moment. It’s become more difficult as I age. Not quite sure if that’s because there are more distractions or because I’m less likely to break away and play “ignore ALL the problems!”, but it’s become something that I need more and struggle more to find time for. Silly, right? I can’t seem to find time to find time.
Signing up for a weekly holy hour at the chapel has been one of my best decisions this year (heck, it might be the best, but I’ve made a lot of decisions). In part, it’s great that I have a schedule that forces me to spend an hour a week which feels incredibly small with the Real Presence. At first, I was concerned I wasn’t doing Adoration right which seems…silly. But I’m not well practiced! Having gone to Franciscan, I had this idea that it was just people praying rosaries over and over or something. (Note: that doesn’t work for me at 10 pm.) The only things I knew were that silence was expected (note: when the chapel is empty, I pray out loud) and you had to be totally focused.
Ha. Reinforces that I’m silly, right? Well, a few months removed, here’s what I’ve learned: there is no right way. Traditionally I try to pray a divine mercy chaplet, which is my favorite devotion. I have a permanent list of people and situations I pray for intentionally. Sometimes I just sit in silence and reflect on how awesome the gift of life truly is, complete with grace and love. Often I read the readings from the daily Masses I didn’t get to, which lately, has been most of them. The Psalms are beautiful to reflect on, sometimes. I sometimes read an excerpt from Matthew Kelly’s “Rediscovering Catholicism”, or Mother Teresa’s “Where There Is Love, There Is God” which might be the most challenging thing I’ve ever read. Sometimes I journal. Sometimes I sing (note: in my head). Sometimes I stare and attempt to comprehend the near incomprehensible.
But here’s the thing – that one hour a week – that fraction of my week – has had a noticeable effect on the other hours of the week. And while a daily holy hour seems like a goal I simply can’t reach, I want to carry that reflection over. To everyday. Seems simple, right? But that’s the thing – it’s amazing how the unbudgeted time in the day disappears like morning coffee, yet the budgeted time ticks by minute by minute. So for now, 15 minutes. A fraction of an hour; a smaller fraction of the day. To simply sit, stand, or dance – in silence, completely unplugged and unencumbered by all the trivialities, with my thoughts, cares, and burdens. The current system simply isn’t cutting it. I expect more from myself, and embracing the world rarely imparts the peace we so crave. And thus, a quest.
(now playing: Jars of Clay – Worlds Apart.)