Otium Sanctum

Nearly every morning I go into our sanctuary for contemplative prayer. It is dark, cool, and quiet. I can center myself and have some quiet time with my Savior. What the early church Fathers called otium sanctum, or “holy leisure.”

But…not today. The garbage truck went by, then the street cleaner, then a fire truck and then a whole squad of children laughing on their way to school. How am I supposed to give myself over to spiritual things if surrounded by the noise of life? Thomas Merton said, “Perfection is found in the purity of our love for God, and this pure love is a delicate plant that grows best when there is plenty of time for it to mature.”

How was I supposed to grow with my Savior with all this NOISE?! But then it happened. That moment when you realize we are called to serve in the midst of life. To find solitude and strength with our Savior in spite of the racket. We can do this. At that moment it grew quiet and I was able to once-again pray. (Honestly I don’t think it was any quieter life was still all around. But within me there was peace).

“If I stand, let me stand on your promise: when I fall, let me fall on your grace.”

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