Day Two....Since I wasn't battling a Monday morning after a long and lazy Easter vacation, I decided to be a little daring and set my alarm for 6AM (as opposed to yesterday's 7AM alarm). I prefer a 6AM start because it gives me time to myself before my family wakes up and the hustle and bustle of the day begins in full swing. Let's just say my Heroic Minute was not so heroic.....At least it is the Year of Mercy and tomorrow is another day!
The mornings when I am able to rise before my family provide me with a precious quiet time that I so need for prayer and reflection. One of my favorite things to do on those quiet early mornings is to head outside for a walk around my neighborhood, enjoying the birds chirping, the smell of the dew on the grass and the soft light of the dawn. I have found that some of my best prayer times occur during those pre-dawn walks and those moments of intimacy with the Lord provide the grace to face whatever the day throws at me.
In the mornings when I don't get an opportunity for solitude and silent prayer, I find myself groping for my bearings throughout the day - always scrambling to get a semblance of order and peace. Even when I get the opportunity later in the day to sit down and spend some time with the Lord, it is never quite the same as the solitude of the early morning. As my Spiritual Director likes to gently remind me, "Morning prayer must happen in the morning, Debbie."
Morning Prayer Lays the Foundation for the Day
When we have the opportunity for morning prayer in the stillness of the beginning of the day, we lay a foundation that can carry us throughout the remainder of the day. In fact, St. Escriva refers to prayer as "...the foundation of the spiritual edifice." (The Way, 83) In a special way, morning prayer gives us the opportunity to allow the Lord to speak to us a word which will set the tone for our entire day.
St. Escriva recognizes the power of this word that the Lord speaks to us in the morning saying: "Engrave in your memory those words which struck you while praying, and repeat them slowly many times throughout the day." (The Way, 103) Implicit in his words is the premise that this prayer time has happened early enough in the day for it to be a source of strength and blessing throughout the remainder of the day. Squeezing in our prayer time in the five exhausted minutes before we collapse into bed in the evening will hardly provide us with the same spiritual well to draw from as time spent with the Lord as the day is just beginning.
My plan for the 14 Day Heroic Minute Challenge is heed St. Escriva's exhortation and write down those words which struck me during prayer in my Spiritual Journal. When the day gets crazy - I can return to those words for a shot of the "peace that passes all understanding."
How is the Challenge going for you? Share your experiences, thoughts, insights and questions in the comments below!
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