Friday, January 29, 2010

On Automatic

A glass of Orange juice.Image via Wikipedia
Yesterday during my reflection time I wrote the date and thought of the day ahead - part of the day already gone and behind me - over, not to be "done" again.

On automatic my body had awakend, made the bed, plumped the pillows as though expecting a real estate agent was on the way, house slippers were already on my feet.  Shuffled to the bathroom for bathroom stuff, then to the kitchen.  Glass of water, decaf awaited the water's boil, 1/2 glass of orange juice went down nicely - sweet and tart at the same time - automatic, automatic.  Coffee cup full I headed up the stairs, located pencil, pad, prayer book, Bible - in in their usual places - I lit the candle, I began to pray - AUTOMATIC came undone!

My mind began planning for the day - "NO, I'm praying - go away!" My mind drew back - read a prayer - concentrate, attempt to remember - these verses, inside - ponder, reflect, learn - forget the appointment later.....and so it goes. The prayer begs for the control of manual mode, the meditation cries out for quiet peaceful contemplation.

So much on auto-pilot, why did I find the focus of prayer and reflection not on automatic?  Is it I wanted to flee, to wander?  Is it too holy to encounter God in prayer? Is my faith watery, without glue, without foundation?  Or is it my soul searching for its home, distracted by life, drawn back by faith.  Is it hard to concentrate because I see no substantive goal?  Do I find the manual control of these intentional moments in prayer that on which I intend my life and my soul to feed, to be nourished, to grow and perhaps even become more of an automatic yearning rather than one I switch on or off?  I think so.  I pray that is so because the peace of moments still and recognized by my Creator are moments of joy and refreshment. Moments of promised hope fulfilled.

How's your automatic button working these days?  Does it get you up and going to the bathroom, to the kitchen, to prayer and reflection?  If it doesn't, I'd love to know what feeds you more than time in true prayer?  I know there are other ways to connect with God and here's your forum.  Go for it!
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  1. I would define anything that truly feeds you spiritually as prayer.

    Often for me, it's music.

    I like your glass of orange juice up there, by the way. I just happen to be eating an orange right now.

  2. Art, which can be enormously spiritual. Spiritual readings, such as Joyce Rupp's. Poetry, very often.

    Merton wrote, "The pleasure of reading and writing poetry helps me God-ward."

    Enough said.

  3. as you know, i'm loving my Celtic spirituality class. one of the main ways is the lack of separation between spiritual and secular. it's all automatic - God in everything. Everything in God. that's what helps keep me on automatic - knowing it's not what i do, but rather the intent of my heart... AND i do so love those moments i set aside and find the quiet stillness of the Other. xoxoox

  4. Polli - I like your comments on "whatever feeds (one) spiritually" is prayer for you. I think I have to agree with that. Very nice to take in.

  5. Maureen,

    As with Pollinatrix, I must agree with you that spiritual feeding through poetry, prose, art are close, and maybe all the same, as prayer. And, of course, I would never argue with Mr. Merton!

  6. Lucy,

    "God in everything. Everything in God." A wonderful thought. I'm loving reaping the benefits of "your" Celtic spirituality class.


  7. I have several automatic buttons that get me up and going to the bathroom but somehow I don't think that's what you are asking.