Deb at Revgals has given us a really good way to slow down during the week before Easter. These are some of the things that I have done over the years.
There are places and spaces where we all find a deep sense of peace and renewal. When we are busy and in the midst of ministry, sometimes it's a little hard to just leave work and GO there. So I try to keep a practice of stopping and praying, remembering the peace that comes when I sit here on this porch swing:
It's the week before Holy Week. Even if you are the non-preaching type, there's plenty going on in most of our homes religious. I think we all need a collective deep breath. :)
This week's Friday Five is simply a moment to BREATHE. Stop and tell us five ways that you "catch your breath" and then move on in the work God calls you to do.
Are these five things people? places? music? hobbies? chocolate? Or perhaps a memory?
1. During Holy Week my tradition has a blessing of Holy Oils and a renewal of ordination vows that while it is just 'one more thing to do' has gotten me out of the parish and into a bit more contemplative mode. It is a service that reminds me of the call I live and reminds me of why I do what I do. Of all the things that I do during Holy Week, I look forward to this the most.
2. When I was still a lay person and a Roman Catholic, I would meet on Maudy Thurs. with a number of friends for a lovely dinner at a local restaurant before going to the Maundy Thurs. service. I am sure we broke all the fasting rules, but it was a special recognition of the gathering that Jesus had with his disciples in the Upper Room. Last year I was in St. Louis for the first time in years and we gathered that group of friends for a wonderful meal of catching up with one another. I want to gather a group of people like that for the future. It is a wonderful way to celebrate the table communion that Jesus had. It has been difficult for me to do this as an ordained person because I am usually 'on' for the Maundy Thurs. service. Now that I am retired, I need to figure out how to re-institute this gathering to celebrate more profoundly that night in Jesus' life.
3. Power Naps! Just a 20 min. rest in a hectic day often revives me so that I can be about the craziness of life.
4. Music: Music restores my soul. I have finally found out how to get
Pandora on my Iphone! I can listen to instrumental music while I am writing sermons, or doing seat work in the office. I can walk to the Mozart Requiem or Gregorian chant or Taize. If I am in the car I can sing which always revives my soul.
5. The Cenacle Retreat in New Orleans has always been a special place for me. If I can bring up those memories in my mind, I can also breathe the spiritual air of that place. It returns me to the openness with God that I knew there pre-Katrina.
Prayers for us all this coming week!