Most of my life is spent working directly with other humans—face to face. Now, we’re entering a new season of social distancing and I find myself asking God what he wants to do with me. Maybe you have similar questions. Today, I stumbled across a prayer from “Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals”:
“Lord, help me now to unclutter my life, to organize myself in the direction of simplicity… I give you the stirrings inside me. I give you my discontent. I give you my restlessness. I give you my doubt… I give you all the longings I hold inside. Help me to listen to these signs of change, of growth; help me to listen seriously and follow where they lead through the breathtaking empty space…” (A Prayer for Major Life Transition, Common Prayer pg. 552).
As I prayed this prayer by myself, I realized God was answering the questions stirring within me. We are in the middle of the season of Lent—a time to do some self-assessment. A time to wonder after God’s movements. And we now have ample space to slow down and do just that. As frustrating, boring, and depressing as isolation can be, my hope and prayer is that each of us might find moments to move toward joy in this season.
To that end, I want to share some resources with you and brief instructions on how to use them.
Calm is a resource Pastor Tim regularly recommends, and several of our church staff use to help their journey toward attentiveness. It walks you through a process of slowing down the noise in your mind so you can rest, journey toward peace, and become more attentive to God’s presence in your life. It is a paid phone app (7-day free trial). You can download it from the Google play store, or the Apple app store. Calm has also produced this free resource page if you don’t want to pay for the subscription: https://www.calm.com/blog/take-a-deep-breath?utm_source=lifecycle&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=difficult_times_subs_031720
Reimagining the Examen is a phone app I’ve been using for about a year. It walks you through a process of examining the movements of the day. What were my thoughts? What were my words? What were my actions? Did they bear fruit? How can I be more aware of God’s presence tomorrow? You can download the app on your android or apple smartphone. Or, click this link for a basic walk-through of how to do Examen without an app. https://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/ignatian-spirituality/examen-and-ignatian-prayer/how-can-i-pray-try-the-daily-examen
Pray As You Go is another daily tool to assist your devotional life. There is a daily prayer/devotional that you are led through audibly. This tool centers around Scripture with prompts for reflection on the basis of the Scripture reading. You can download the app on your android or apple smartphone, or have full access online via this link. https://pray-as-you-go.org/
Finally, Daily Quote is a pretty self-explanatory resource. Download the app on your smartphone and it will produce a daily quote. It is one of Cameron’s favorites and he suggests using it to center your day.
You may want to spend some time with these resources and see if one of them might work well for you.
My prayer for each of us is that even as we are distant from one another, love would bind us together. May you find peace, joy, and love in this season.
Grace and Peace,