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Morning Praying. The Joy and the Challenge.

I really value the first hours of the day – the gradual transition from darkness to light, the increasing sounds of the town waking up and beginning to move, the opportunity to take initial nourishment both in the form of a little breakfast and a time of quiet prayer and meditation before diving into the fray.

As everyone who has written on interior prayer/meditation whom I have read have noted, I find the ‘fray’ mentioned above is going on in my mind even as the day gently opens up around me. It continues to astound me as I sit quietly that my mind, only just returned to post-sleep consciousness, bounces merrily (or un-) from one memory, concern, worry, point of uncertainty to another. As John Main OSB and others who have taught on centering prayer over the past generation have noted, the best response is simply to stay there, to keep praying, to (using Main’s phrase), “say your word.”

I can fairly enough say that the best evidence of my faithfulness to all this is actually bodily. I sit down and stay in one place for the period of prayer.

How much life does it take to bring the beauties and wonders of heart and of mind into consonance with one another? I have come to believe that I will be entirely at rest only about a half hour post my eventual taking leave of the world!

Still, pray on!



A native of the North Shore of Boston, I currently live on Long Island, New York. I worked at Boston College as the Acting Director of The Church in the 21st Century Center until August, 2010 and served until November 2016 as Canon for Formation, and Dean of the George Mercer Jr. School of Theology of the Diocese of Long Island. I am now Rector at the Church of Saint Anselm of Canterbury in Shoreham, New York.

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