3.9.16

Location, Location, Location

Here's my take on an aspect of personal prayer (as opposed to community prayer, such as the Holy Mass).

If I had the concentration of a scientist or a monk, the determination of a saint, and maybe a personal chapel (!), I probably won't have any difficulty praying. Right? Wrong? A qualified yes? A qualified no?

Where I pray happens to matter. I wish it doesn't, but it does. Well, most of the time it does. I do rather well in churches, prayer corners, and my bedroom.

During the times when location does not SEEM to matter, it could actually be material to the prayer at hand. For example, it is so easy to pray in the parking lot after having circled it for the nth time and none of the cars are moving out. It is easy to pray while queuing in bank, hoping that they open another counter. But those are near-desperate cases when praying is umm, well... instinctive?

Hopefully when I grow up, when I am more insightful, more determined, and less frivolous, location won't weigh significantly anymore. For now, though, I find some confirmation and gentle encouragement in Phil Kosloski's article, The Importance of a Sacred Space in Daily Prayer. (He maintains a blog, Praying from the Heart, at the Apostleship of Prayer website.)

Mr. Kosloski affirms that "an important aspect of personal prayer is location". He even quotes the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC 2691) to emphasize the importance of the prayer corner in the home. The prayer corner is fondly referred to as a "little oratory". With what we already have at home, we can set up a prayer corner -- religious images, candles (homes with children should take necessary precaution), Bibles, prayer books, books for spiritual reading, rosaries, and tablecloths in the liturgical colors. The purpose is to make a prayer corner conducive to personal and family prayer and reflection, temporarily and partially setting aside our practical concerns so that we can go back to them refreshed and more resolved after time spent in prayer.

Then, too. Mr. Koloski tells us about public oratories, such as the adoration chapels. Indeed, they are ideal places for personal prayer because of the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. It is a helpful development that today, most if not all, parishes have their own adoration chapels.

I will leave you to read the rest of the article, which was for me a pleasant surprise. I hope that by setting up new prayer corners or sprucing up what we already have, our respective prayer lives can be enlivened and made more meaningful.

And may our Blessed Mother, whose nativity we will commemorate in a few days, help us along and lead us to her Son.


2 comments:

  1. Beautiful prayer areas!
    I'm always searching for the right time and place. I lack discipline.
    I learn from your posts.

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    1. Thank you for that sweet comment and for visiting!

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