Busted Halo

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April 8th, 2014

BRIAN — DAY 35: Time


Rob Carr/AP Photo

Rob Carr/AP Photo

I have intentionally tried to plan my prayer time this Lent; each day, I sit down for a set 10-15 minutes of quiet reflection.

This has been helpful for a number of reasons, the most evident being that the discipline of actually designating a time to pray is the surest way to make sure I will actually do it. If I only meditated when I was in the mood or otherwise felt moved to do so … well, I would probably be able to count my “higher power” exchanges on one hand.

While visiting my grandparents’ house yesterday, I was browsing one of their guest bedrooms when I felt a sudden urge to pray. I only had a few moments before I would rejoin my family, but I swiftly knelt, said a few words and left the room.

The whole experience probably lasted a minute, maybe less. But those 60 seconds felt more meaningful and, frankly, holy than the 12 minutes I dedicated to quiet meditation later in the day.

I am not suggesting those pre-appointed prayer sessions are unimportant; again, they are a useful way to actually maintain a regular prayer life. But forming them is not the end all be all. I also think it is essential to see other, more spontaneous opportunities to pray as a door to something deeper, even if it is a prayer that only takes a moment.

The Author : Brian Harper
Brian Harper is a communications specialist for the Midwest Jesuits. He has lived in Peru, South Africa, and Italy, and his writing has been featured in America magazine, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and various other print and online publications. You can find his work at www.brianharper.net.
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