Friday Thoughts

The Praying Christ by D. Werburg Welch
The Praying Christ
by D. Werburg Welch,
Copyright © Stanbrook Abbey.
Used by permission.

Later today many of those with week-end cottages in Wales will be hurtling down the A465 to get to their chosen destinations. Inside the monastery, we shall scarcely be aware of the rush, apart from noticing a few more headlights if we look at the main road. In effect, there will be two different time-scales at work. Outside, people will be pressing on, with as much speed as they can; inside, we shall be savouring the words of the liturgy, circling round the still point of eternity. No one on the road is likely to be aware of what is going on inside the monastery, and yet, without that quiet, monastic prayer, might there not be even more jangle and upset than there is? That is not to claim anything for the monastery. It is to acknowledge that the victory over sin and death won by Christ on the Cross extends to the present and is actualised, if I may use that word, by the prayer of believers.

Many people say they are too busy to pray or are called away from prayer by some urgent task. That is not, or should not be, the case with monks and nuns. By making prayer the heart of our day we sometimes incur the irritation of those who want us to do something else, but it is surely important that we remain true to our vocation. Our prayer is never for ourselves alone but for everyone. It is never prayed alone, either, but always in union with Jesus Christ, our Lord. It is his prayer that holds us, and the universe, in being — even if, perhaps especially if, we are hurtling along the A465.

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15 thoughts on “Friday Thoughts”

  1. You are absolutely right. I can‘t imagine how the world would look if the monastics weren‘t busy on our behalf, the still, small voice of calm. It is a pity that people imagine that praying has to be following long, complicated set forms, good tho these are. When I go out thro my front door, I ask St Raphael to go with me…he is so good at finding the way or a parking space! … Takes no time at all to cross oneself, either. But it brings the faith world and the fraught one into contact, I think.

  2. Again, a heart stopper. Thank you. Let us all treasure those wonderful still, small moments when we know that God is there whispering in our ear.

  3. I pass the monastery on the A465 regularly – though not on the way to a weekend cottage – I am always aware of your prayerful presence and add my prayers to yours as I pass by. Thank you for being there.

  4. I am probably far from alone in finding much comfort in the knowledge that while I must hurtle along some motorway, or force myself into some work-related busy-ness, or cannot sleep because some trifle keeps me awake, there are always, somewhere, nuns or monks praying. What a great gift to us! Your prayers are needed in this world, and I thank you for you keeping a prayerful watch over us all.

  5. Needed to read this today. Thank you for these words. I’ve been so overwhelmed lately where my prayer schedule is concerned and I just had an aha moment of realizing that everything Must take second place and go around my prayer schedule first. I can not and will not put anything before my time with Christ. I don’t know about anyone else’s experience but when I’m off my schedule I am not myself and I feel empty and extremely out of sorts. Sister I love this. Didn’t know you had this beautiful daily reflection. God bless you fir all that you are and all that you do. You are in my prayers.

    • Thank you. Don’t beat yourself up too much about sticking to your schedule but do try to allow God into ALL the moments of your day while still trying to maintain some regularity in your prayer. Otherwise, you will indeed experience strain and revulsion. Bless you!

  6. “…the victory over sin and death won by Christ on the Cross extends to the present and is actualised, if I may use that word, by the prayer of believers.”

    Yes, absolutely. From our point of view, perhaps that is what prayer is for. Thank you.

  7. Sometimes (not often enough!) on a very crowded train into Canary Wharf, I will remind myself that God is in this carriage of people with their (and mine) hopes and fears and try to say a quick prayer. There may even be a quick prayer said amongst those speeding on the A465. Perhaps the prayers in the monastry and the snatched prayer in a busy secular life at some level supports and enriches each other.

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