Once again I have been M.I.A. I'd like to say it's because my husband has a new job in Austin and that we've been feverishly packing, but that's not the reason. Last week I was putting the finishing touches on a retreat I directed on Saturday. The focus of the retreat was prayer and trying new prayer experiences: Lectio Divina, guided meditation, contemplative prayer, and what I call mantra prayer. I thought it went very well, if I do say so myself.
Now...back to blogging...
"In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world." John 16:33
This verse would make the perfect "mantra" prayer. I know that the Church teaches that we should not used Eastern meditation practices - and I completely agree. I use the word mantra in the sense that it is something you repeat to yourself in times of stress. It's something that can used like a touchstone to calm down, focus, decompress.
For a long time I loved a line from Julian of Norwich, "All shall be well, all manner of things shall be well." I used this simple "mantra" in grad school when I was often up to my eyeballs in reading, papers, ministry, and lack of sleep. Repeating it over and over again was my prayer that I'd survive grad school, get a job, pay my bills...that everything would be alright. I graduated, I got a job, and everything was fine. Then I moved on to another "mantra" prayer.
"In the world you will have trouble, but take courage, I have conquered the world." With all the stuff that is swirling around my family these days: job hunting, potential move, potty training, and all around 2 1/2 year old craziness, I think I have just found the new prayer that I need.