A stupid easy habit that might just change your life
Lately, prayer has been um, more ejaculatory in nature. Less journaling and contented silence spent in the adoration chapel, more shouting the Lord’s name decidedly not in vain and hoping that the kids understand mommy isn’t swearing, she really is calling for help.
Sometimes that’s all I’ve got.
Particularly during the darkest days of this past spring, it was all I could manage to think the name of Jesus.
I began listening to a really wonderful podcast back in April; there was a specific series Adam did that really struck me to the core. It involves re-imagining of the Psalms as a sort of template for the human experience: highs and lows, joys and pain, suffering and consolation.
I started propping a Bible up in the window over my kitchen sink, cracked open to the Psalms, and slowly but surely I’d read my way through one Psalm or even just one paragraph of one Psalm day by day. It became a sort of touchstone during what amounted to, some days, the only peaceful moments in an otherwise prolonged sequence of cry, feed, discipline, scrub, wipe, repeat.
It also took me from reading the Bible, um, never, to reading the Bible every day.
Maybe you’re not in a season of life where doing a Bible study is possible, or even attractive. Maybe you’re not even able to read the daily Mass readings for each day (raises chagrined hand) or crack open a Magnificat.
But I bet you have to wash dishes. I bet, strung together over the course of a day, you stand at your sink for at least 20 minutes or more.
This has honestly changed my life: I’m reading the Psalms slowly, savoring the poetry contained within, marveling that the writer is sometimes living out my same story, thousands and thousands of years ago. I’m widening my eyes (or sometimes crying) when the perfect sentence or phrase pops out for the exact thing I’m dealing with at that exact moment.
I think this is what is meant by the Word of God being a living thing, not just dead words on a page. Scripture is interactive in a way the digital world and even the actual world can never be, because is is continually renewing itself, proving itself Real, in the life of every single human being in existence.
Anyway, highly recommend it, and highly recommend you warn your spouse/roommate not to “tidy up” and move your poor watermarked Bible from its perch. I pointed out to Dave that a wrinkled and water stained Bible was preferable to a really pristine edition that hasn’t been read in a while, and he had to concur.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
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I love this idea. I also love reading the chapter of Proverbs every day that correlates to the day of the month (since there are 31 chapters this works most months!) I’m always surprised to see how much of it applies to my life or current events.
So glad to see a new blog post in my inbox from you. I deleted all social media a couple of weeks ago and am really enjoying long form blog posts again! Would love to see a post on intuitive eating and your thoughts on it.
Hi Jenny, what is podcast title? For some reason I can’t click it in the email and on this web page half the blog post isn’t visible to me. Could just be my phone being wonky.
Oh, how I love this! My heart settled into a lovely peace when I realized I could manage that too. So I quickly bought a clear recipe book stand with a shield (thank you, Amazon!), but I won’t wait for it to get here to start. Thank you for sharing this idea! Maybe my kids will read some too!
Elise, I did the same! I love this idea.
Can you share the podcast please
The podcast is called “The Place We Find Ourselves”; here’s the episode I referenced: https://theplacewefindourselves.libsyn.com/63-emotions-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-praying-the-psalms
I’m assuming the rest of your post is behind a paywall. I can’t afford, right now, to subscribe to be a patron on Patreon. I understand why you need to use Patreon, I’m just sad to be missing out on your writing. Best wishes.
Karen I can see the entire post in my email. Maybe try subscribing to emails? I can’t see it here, though.
Hi Karen and Ruth – I am so sorry for the glitch! Definitely not a paywall, I won’t ever post exclusive Patreon content here on the blog, it’ll always be free 🙂
Thanks for bringing it to my attention, should be resolved and totally visible now!
Thanks, Jenny! I love your writing, and am so happy I’ll be able to continue to read it.
Jenny: Only part of the post is showing on the website. (The entire post came through on the email.) I also had a problem with the podcast link. Thanks!
LOVE The Place We Find Ourselves. Highly highly recommend to literally everyone.