Friday, August 10, 2012

Making Time for Prayer

Dear Theophilus,

The Archdiocese of Toronto recently tweeted “The average commuting time in the GTA = 80 minutes! That’s plenty of time to pray the Rosary while you travel.” Keeping in mind that Toronto is the most populous city in Canada, I’m sure the same could be said about every major city across the globe. In our fast paced society, where many people say they don’t have enough time to get to Mass on Sunday, let alone pray the Rosary, we need to make time for prayer, and our daily commute is the perfect time to take a moment to converse with the Lord.

I’m not saying that commuters shouldn’t pay attention to the road as they drive to work, but the talk radio or retro-music could easily be replaced with the rhythmic reciting of the Rosary. Taking this time to pray would be even easier for those who commute using public transit, especially on the long train ride in from suburbia. I actually found myself on a commuter train at rush-hour recently and was surprised at how much quieter it was than my usual rides at off-peak hours as the people filling the car had themselves plugged into their personal music, eyes glued to novels or the glowing screens of their smartphones.

Our daily commute isn’t the only time of the day when we can incorporate prayer into our daily rituals. In his novel Fairy Gunmother – La fée carabine, French novelist Daniel Pennac writes: “The best thing about dogs is that they force you to go out and have a good think.” This is something I missed in the year-and-a-half since our last dog died and am rediscovering this summer with the arrival of our new puppy. Goldie is welcome company as I say my Rosary first thing in the morning and the 4 or 5 other 30-minute walks through the rest of the day are a perfect time to reflect on life, ask God for strength and courage with the trials of the day or to give Him glory for the day’s abundant blessings.

I also find myself at prayer while doing other mundane chores around the house, from hanging the laundry to ironing to doing the dishes. I also try to read a passage from scripture before turning out the light before bed at night. Even reading just a couple of verses is a relaxing way to end the day and prepare my mind, body and soul for sleep.

My family and I lead lives as hectic as any one else living out the suburban dream. At times we find it a struggle to balance all of our responsibilities: careers, school, homework, sports, music, etc. It would be easy to let our prayer lives slip with such a full calendar and claim Sunday as the only day we get to sleep in as an excuse not to go to Mass. Still, we revel in the quiet moments we do find through the course of our busy days to prayerfully centre ourselves on the Lord.

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