17 August 2008

Weekly Reflection: the Peacefulness of Prayer

Last week was an emotionally eventful week for my personal life.

My sister, whose baby is due any day now, had a doctor's appointment last week and was put on bed rest due to high blood pressure. She has another appointment early this week to check in and see how she's doing.

One of my best friends had a scary doctor's appointment last week to check out a lump she found. She was nervous about it, understandably. Thankfully, it was benign.

And while all this was going on, I had a couple of writing projects due at the end of the week. One of the projects just didn't feel right to me, and though I worked on it and tweaked it and eventually sent it in (on deadline), I still feel that something was off about it.

All week I felt as though I was going from one minor crisis to another (some bigger than others, of course). By the end of the week, I was emotionally drained.

Friday evening, Hubby and I went to Mass with the in-laws for the Feast of the Assumption. It was a welcome break from the chaos of the week, and gave me an opportunity to spend time in worship and prayer away from the distractions of the office and everyday life.

During Mass I prayed (as I always do) in the quiet moment after the homily, and immediately began to feel more at peace, more emotionally balanced, and relaxed. In that moment, I was able to concentrate on my prayer and my personal, spiritual life, and the frustrations and anxieties of the week seemed to slip away and I could breathe again.

Today's society is full of attention-getting devices. TV, radio, and the Internet fill our senses with sounds and images and help us keep our lives full of stimulation and noise. That's fine, but there comes a point when I just need quiet, and in those quiet moments, I find myself in prayer. And with that prayer comes peace.

When I pray, I'm able to turn my thoughts inward and step away from the outside distractions of life. I think it's that introspection that allows me to recharge myself and get ready for another week of distractions and chaos. The peace I feel in prayer at Mass steadies me to face whatever trials I meet head-on and without fear or doubt, and to keep on keeping on.

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