retrt15c1_web

A Way to Spiritual Life

Choose a spot

(Someplace comfortable, quiet, and personal. You will soon become amazed that you and God connect in that place like no other, and the connection will happen more readily, naturally, and easily than in other places. Put anything there that helps you: candle, music, cushion, whatever. Basic materials are a Bible, a journal and a pen, writings that inspire you –a poet, a spiritual writer, a pastor’s sermons or newsletter articles — and a sense of humor.)

 

Choose a time

(Actually, choose several times, like morning, during lunch, or before going to bed. That way, if you miss one, you can still make the next one. If you never miss any, consider joining a monastery and writing your own spiritual books.)

 

Journal

(Use a journal to record how you are when you come to your spiritual time. It’s like free counseling, except you won’t lie, or try to put a good face on how you are, because only you will know what you say. Be real, use the words you use in your head. God already knows anyway. Go back and read what you have written from time to time. You will be amazed by the ways you have grown, and by the ways you haven’t.)

 

Read

(If you don’t know where to start, a Psalm is always a good beginning. It’s also good to read frequently from the Gospels. Some good spiritual writers are Francis of Assisi, Teresa of Avila, Robert Benson, Henri Nouwen, Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr, John Wesley and many others. )

 

Be quiet

(God already knows everything you are thinking and everything you have to say, but you don’t know what God has to say. That’s why you are there. Be still. Listen like God is really there with you, because God is. Be still. Listen. If you “hear” something important, write it in your journal and reflect on it at length.)

 

Say Your Prayers

(It’s always good to pray for yourself and others. Just because God already knows, doesn’t mean God doesn’t want to hear you, or that it will not be a blessing to speak before God. Always end with the Lord’s Prayer.)

 

Re-enter the World

(Knowing that you are loved and forgiven and that God is always with you.)

 

There will be days when you do not pray. There will be days when you pray multiple times. There will be times when you can only manage the Lord’s Prayer. There will be times when you pray for a long time. It’s all good. Never beat yourself up. Just keep trying.

 

 

Some Additional Resources for Daily Prayer:

In Constant Prayer, Venite, or something else by Robert Benson

The Divine Hours, Phyllis Tickle

A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants, Job and Shawchuck