It was not long after I went to college and it became clear that singing at church would become more than just something I liked, and would additionally be something that helped me make some money, that my father looked at me across the kitchen table and said “you get paid to go to church…that’s so cool”.
Most of my days I am doing something that has to do with God. I know the lectionary inside and out from hearing the readings over and over on a weekend. By starting classes with the prayer for generosity I pray it five or six times a day. In the evenings for my degree I read or write about the sacrament of reconciliation. So much Church, so much God. No complaining.
But once in a while there is a day on which I do none of those things, as occurred this week. At the end of the day I sat down with my prayer book and was totally scattered. I couldn’t focus, and in trying to look over my day I felt lost. Where was my prayer if I hadn’t spent half the day thinking about Pope Pius IX? (church history folks will know how ridiculous that sounds).
This much I know: I was happy that day, and there is holiness in happiness as sure as your born. To revel in the love I share with others and the beauty of God’s creation is prayer too. Maybe that is harder to see in reflection than the more obvious fruits of my labors, but happiness-joy, even – is holy, holy, holy.
(apologies to subscribers who were sent a draft of this in error. Once again wordpressing from the iPad gets a fail)
Jonathan F. Sullivan says
My greatest struggle after finishing my graduate studies was re-centering my prayer life. My studies had been my prayer for so long that when I wasn’t studying any longer I realized that I also wasn’t praying any longer. Oops!
(I studied at a Dominican school; the Dominicans have a long tradition of prayer as study such that, even today, a novice may skip communal prayer if he is engaged in study.)
It took me about a year to get my prayer life back in order and, crazy enough, I think that “year in the desert” has strengthened my ability to pray in a variety of settings and in a variety of styles.
Amy H. says
“there is holiness in happiness as sure as your born.” — This is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. Thanks for the food for thought! 🙂
I have achurch job to sing every sunday, sometimes i feel its turning into a routine. But i always love how much the congregation appreciates my voice 🙂
I just listened to one of your youtube recordings through your blog – you have a beautiful voice! I’m not surprised that the congregation loves to listen to you sing!