3/25/12

Praying 10 Minutes a Day: Fifth Week/Sunday

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Lent is a time for keeping our eyes open to discover the daily graces we so easily miss in our busy, distracted lives. Catholic Christians believe that the world itself has a sacramental nature, revealing always and everywhere the presence and grace of God among us.

Perhaps this fragment from Salinger says this better:
I'll tell you one thing, Franny. One thing I know. And don't get upset. But if it's the religious life you want, you ought to know right now that you're missing out on every single goddam religious action that's going on around this house. You don't even have sense enough to drink when somebody brings you a cup of consecrated chicken soup -- which is the only kind of chicken soup Bessie ever brings to anybody around this madhouse. So just tell me, just tell me, buddy. Even if you went out and searched the whole world for a master -- some guru, some holy man -- to tell you how to say your Jesus prayer properly, what good would it do you? How in hell are you going to recognize a legitimate holy man when you see one if you don't even know a cup of consecrated chicken soup when it's right in front of your nose? Can you tell me that?


- J.D. Salinger in Franny and Zooey
Yesterday was the 32nd anniversary of the martyrdom of Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador.

I've been wanting to post that excerpt from Salinger and now I have the perfect companion piece for it, from Archbishop Romero:
How beautiful will be the day when all the baptized understand that their work, their job, is a priestly work, that just as I celebrate Mass at this altar, so each carpenter celebrates Mass at his workbench, and each metalworker, each professional, each doctor with the scalpel, the market woman at her stand, is performing a priestly office! How many cabdrivers, I know, listen to this message there in their cab: you are a priest at the wheel, my friend, if you work with honesty, consecrating that taxi of yours to God, bearing a message of peace and love to the passengers who ride in your cab.  
No, the archbishop is not trying to blur the legitimate distinctions between different modes of priesthood among God's people.  Nor does Salinger launch an attack on Catholic theology by speaking of "consecrated" chicken soup.  Both men, however, are about the business of waking us to the sacred nature of the world around us and our share in it.

Some thoughts to ponder on the way to prayer today...

How are the simple tasks of my day a sacred work for others, Lord?

How are the simple tasks of others a sacred work through which they touch my life?

Who and what are holy in the world around me, day to day, and do I reverence the holiness of those whose paths cross mine all the time?

In what ways does my work, whatever it might be, touch and heal and sanctify those around me?

Indeed, is there anyone, anything in my day, Lord, that is not a sign of your holy presence?

If I cannot recognize your presence in the ordinary...  if I miss your presence even in the work I do, Lord...  how can I hope to find you in other places?

Didn't you choose, Lord, to come to us in our own flesh and blood

Didn't you choose to reveal yourself to us in water, oil, bread, wine, words and touch?   

How wise your choices, Lord, and how gracious of you to come to us in such simple guise...

Open my eyes, my ears, my mind, my heart, my soul, my imagination to the sacred beauty of your presence, Lord, in the simplest of things in the world around me...

And help me see how, in my own life and work, you reveal yourself to those around me and invite me to touch them with your presence...

Find a quiet place, a quiet time and go there to meet the Lord for 10 minutes of prayer...

Be still... and know that God is near...

Be still... and know that God is everywhere...

Be still... and know that God is within you, 
beside you, around you, above you, below you...

Be still... and know that in all you do, the sacred presence of God
desires to reveal itself to you and those around you...

Be still... and know that God is near...


Are you new to "Praying 10 Minutes a Day in Lent" - or are you having trouble getting started?  The first installment offers some thoughts on getting started, as do the subsequent posts in the series.  So take a look and join us!  




   
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2 comments:

Alice Carter said...

Do you celebrate the Annunciation?

Austin Fleming said...

On the calendar of the Roman Church, the Sundays of Lent trump any feast that may fall on the same day. Thus, the Fifth Sunday of Lent takes precedence over the Assumption. In such a case, the Assumption is celebrated the next day, as it will be on March 26 this year.