Dear Parish Family,
This past month I moved into the rectory at St. Mary’s. And I knew that one of the first things I would need to do for my own well being would be to establish a prayer space A.S.A.P. That was a little tricky because with so many rooms there (I’ve counted at least 30 and I find new ones every day, including 8 bathrooms!), I wasn’t exactly sure which one would be my bedroom, and over the years that’s where my prayer space usually has been.
Because prayer is the most important part of my day – the thing that anchors everything else I do and gives me the hope I need to face my challenges – it felt really important to find the perfect place. I’m still not sure I’ve found my permanent spot yet, but it reminded me of something that Pope Francis once wrote in his 2015 teaching The Joy of the Gospel. He said, "time is more important than space."
I could make 50 trips to Hobby Lobby or Bed, Bath & Beyond to make my little prayer corner as cozy and quaint as possible, but in the end it won’t be the space that makes the biggest difference in the quality of my prayer. It will be the time I set aside for it. Ten minutes spent with God while stuck in traffic will make a bigger impact in my relationship with God than two minutes in a candlelit chapel.
This week, we’re focusing on the first purpose of human living – to bring pleasure to God. And nothing pleases God more than to spend time with us.
The little spot I’ve got for my prayer is at the top of the main staircase, and it’s a candlelit perch with an icon of Christ that overlooks the backyard. It’s lovely. But if I don’t make the time to sit there each morning, the loveliness of the space won’t matter much, since its only purpose is to give me a place to settle down and lean in to God.
If you’d like help creating a prayer space in your home, you can check out my YouTube page where I created this how-to guide to DIY prayer spaces in your home, which we’ll post on our parish FB page this week. And after watching that you may come up with far nicer ideas than I have.
But as wonderful as it is to have a chapel in our home for prayer, the key is not the space we create as much as it is the time we spend in it. May the time for you make for prayer fill your life with freshness and hope.