How my Catholic education didn't teach me to pray

Today is the Feast of St. Francis.  A noteworthy day for me.  St. Francis has been one of my inspirations in life,  as a man who seriously asked the question "how do I live the Gospel in my life?"  I am feeling more and more a spirit within me to delve deeper into Franciscan spirituality and to reinterpret it for the chaotic life that is the life of a lay person in a family rather than a religious community.

I am also feeling pretty frustrated with many of the prayer strategies I have been handed in my religious formation.  It seems to me that almost all of my spiritual mentors advocated for retreats, contemplative prayer, and time away.  The life of a parent, partner, and employee don't lend themselves adequately to those types of connection with the sacred.  And yet, despite the fact that most people are not in religious life (priests and nuns) doesn't seem to impact the esteem that these types of prayer carry.

So I am at this point, where I want to try out forms of prayer as a partner and parent that work for us, in our life, right now.   Prayer that doesn't require a babysitter or a day off but moves and breathes in our day with us.  I also don't mean mindfulness. I do think this is prayer of one form or another but I want to discover ways to pray not just ways to wake up.

I also wonder if this is the role that music as worship in protestant (particularly evangelical) traditions functions, because you can bring music into your home quite easily...hmmm??

We'll happy feast of St. Francis ya'll.
Don't go blessing animals and crap like that.
Ask yourself- how do I live the gospel in my life?

Peace and all good.


  1. There are a lot of Mennonites (and former Mennonites) in Northern Indiana, and I *really* envy how everyone who was raised Mennonite knows how to sing in four-part harmony -- are there any tone-deaf Mennonites? -- how easily these melodies and harmonies come to them.

    And on a related but different topic, I own all these rosaries that have various connections -- a small wood Franciscan rosary from Assisi from when I travelled when living in Dublin, rosaries that were given to me at other points in my life, rosaries that have significance in my family -- and I have no idea how to use them even when I do have the time (which as a single grad student is probably far more often than for other laypeople...), because that particular Marian tradition is just so unsalvageable to me -- too wrapped up in really damaging views of women's agency and bodies and all that.


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