Thursday, August 13, 2009

15 mins may change your day

"If we add a little time to the beginning of our day, even if it means getting up fifteen minutes earlier, this contemplative moment in the early morning can enrich our whole day. Don't worry, you're not wasting time. Don't think that you are taking time away from something that needs to be done. Without the contemplative dimension, the whole day can slip away into a mad chase, but those few minutes can give it meaning and joy. And if you can set aside a little corner in your home, however modest, as a sanctuary, that space can readily conduct you each day back into the contemplative mode.
If you get up fifteen minutes earlier, you have this extra bit of time that doesn't have to be put to some practical purpose. The useful fits into your normal routine. You can delight in this extra time, savoring it in any way you wish. Many play music in the morning. Not a few these days listen to chant, the music that monks chant at this hour, music in which the great silence of mystery becomes sound. If you make time for this, it may change the whole character of your day.
In any walk of life, you can build into your day prayer breaks that connect you with the Spirit. They don't have to be ten minutes long; they may be only ten seconds long, yet they'll be helpful. (...) [S]imply stop for a few moments and open yourself to the force of love that drives the universe. Stop and bless. Stop and appreciate. Take note of the gifts of your life and share them."

-- Music of Silence: A Sacred Journey Through the Hours of the Day by David Steindl-Rast, osb, & Sharon Lebell


Anne said...

Sister, this is wonderful! I wrote a story for my blog a while ago called "15 minutes" about how I'm only allowed 15 minutes with each client who comes to see me and how I found that 15 minutes is all it takes to make a difference! It's nice to see that applied to prayer as well!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister...this post is wonderful and it sounds like it would be a good book to have. Sure, add another book to my *book gluttony*: )
Would you recommend this book considering my state in life?

I do not have that opportunity to get up earlier right now since my daughter is attached next to me in bed, but I look forward to the day that I can. I feel those first moments of the day are so silent and sacred. I have two areas that I use for prayer...our sunroom with a rocking chair and my bedroom where I keep two icons with candles for prayer at night.

pia49 said...

Dear Sister, I feel like you picked this excerpt of writing just for me today. It's such a struggle to "pray unceasingly" in my daily life. Do you recommend this book as helpful for "the journey home"? pia49

ocd sister said...

Dear Readers,

I'm glad you liked this post so much. I think Music of Silence is a great book for anyone (especially lay persons) wishing to learn about the Liturgy of the Hours (Divine Office), what it is, what it means, etc. It also talks about the need of silence in our lives so that we can listen to God. It's very easy to get all cluttered up with TV, radio, websites, shopping, you name it... But it is in those moments of silence when we can better listen to God and pay attention to His inspiration.

There was only one *small* section that I thought was a little iffy. Nothing major, though; I'm just very critical of the things I read.

It's also a good book for anyone considering a religious vocation or third order vocation and would like to learn more about "the prayer" of the Church.

By learning and understanding the Liturgy of the Hours, even if you pray only one hour (say, Morning Prayer) per day, you're joining the universal Church in prayer. This is the prayer that we religious, especially the cloistered ones, pray every day before the Blessed Sacrament for the good of the Church and souls. We Discalced Carmelites Nuns pray the full Office, coming together before the Blessed Sacrament 7 times a day, in addition to Mass and 2 hours of mental prayer per day. (I had to get my vocational pitch in somehow! :) )

The book is small, and easily readable in one afternoon. At just $10 or so, it is definitely a reader and "pass it on" kind of book.

Please pray for me!

Anonymous said...

Yes are in my prayers! Thank you for that wonderful explanation. I do pray Morning and Evening Prayer and sometimes Night Prayer as a secular Carmelite. I think I would appreciate this good read.