The waiting, as they say, is the hardest part. But, as Father Barron so insightfully points out in this classic clip, that's exactly the point of Advent, which started yesterday. Advent is a season of waiting, preparation and prayer — and opportunities for observation may be unexpected but always valuable.
Kerry Trotter has a handle on a lot of things, but regular prayer is not one of them. Taking her cue from her much more pious coworkers, and this most auspicious season of Lent, she decided to give the practice of prayer a legitimate try. Read all about it, today, on the Word on Fire blog.
A low snicker rumbled through the Word on Fire conference room.
Father Steve, Rozann Carter and I were seated for our weekly editorial meeting and discussing who should write about which facet of Lent—fasting, prayer or almsgiving—for our blog.
“Kerry, I’d like you to take on ‘prayer,’” Father Steve said.
I nodded in agreement as he explained the role of prayer in Lenten formation, and suggested ideas for how I might explore the tenet to my advantage during this assignment. He suggested churches I might visit, and gave me pointers on possible photo opportunities.
But all I heard were clicks and beeps.
Full disclosure: I returned to my desk, fired up the ol’ Google machine, and keyed in “how to pray.”
“How to pray”? What sort of heathen idiot are you, Kerry? You simply, as Reverend Lovejoy once said, “drop down and put your knees together,” clasp your hands, bow your head and, you know, ask for stuff.
Bada bing, bada boom. Prayer.
Even I know there’s more to it than that, but I was at a loss as to where to begin. Do I refer to the wealth of spiritual knowledge with and for whom I work, or do I keep my trap shut and quit embarrassing myself? It reminded me of the time I asked Father Barron, “Wait, what is the Incarnation again? Is that the feast day when Mary gets pregnant?” Poor Father Barron. He just stared a moment, blinked, and then gingerly explained it all...
There is a great Catholic insight that some feats of physical endurance manifest an intense connection between the physical and the spiritual. If this asceticism is accepted for reasons beyond self-interest, it can be a means by which we share in the sufferings of Christ. These practices are directed toward the mystery of the Incarnation, the enflesh-ment of a spiritual reality that provides a corporeal, experiential means to participate in this very reality.
Jeff Grabosky, a 28 year-old graduate of the University of Notre Dame, just ran 3700+ miles across America in, about, and to promote prayer. Over the course of 121 days, Jeff made his way from Los Angeles to Long Island on foot, pushing a stroller of supplies and logging eleven to sixty-five miles every day. Having dedicated at least a decade of the rosary to every prayer petition received through his website and praying in honor of his mother who passed away in 2006, Jeff practiced this incarnational spirituality throughout his run.
Upon the completion of this feat, Jeff graciously agreed to be interviewed by Word on Fire. He offers the details of his incredible journey on the Word on Fire Blog...