Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Music of Morning Prayer

Mother Theresa of Calcutta famously remarked that the fruit of silence is prayer. To that end, I have, on occasion in the past, tried to find quiet moments by doing things like turning off the radio in my car. I get uncomfortable in those moments. Rather than entering into conversation with God, it seems that after a minute or two, there's nothing happening at all: nothing in and nothing out.

I've also been on a silent retreat and found the experience to be very productive, spiritually speaking. At the retreat, I would return to my room after every meditation and write my reflections out. I found that in the writing, I was able to enter into the dialogue with God that was eluding me otherwise. It was after I shared this experience that someone suggested I start writing a blog. Whether that was a good idea or not remains to be seen.

Where I'm going with all this is that I've been saying Morning Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours every morning upon rising. After saying the Invitatory, a hymn is sung. If I don't know the tune, I play it out on the piano (this is typically before any of the kids are awake). The rest of Morning Prayer follows. I've mentioned before in this blog that I really like breakfast, and for a long time, I would start preparing my breakfast in-between the psalms and canticles and readings, so that my Morning Prayer was all broken up. For the last two weeks, I've been saying the entire Morning Prayer before starting any of my breakfast, and I've been a little surprised by the result.

After I finish the prayer and begin preparing for my day, the hymn continues to play in my mind. The music in my brain continues the prayer and makes me reluctant to turn on the radio or television. The silence that previously caused me such discomfort is now a source of comfort.

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