Monday, May 21, 2012

Take Courage!

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.  

Take courage!

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