The last couple weeks were filled with traveling and shenanigans. May 10 I left my home in Columbus to go to Illinois to get one of my best friends married off. Then over this past weekend I had to go home to take care of my older childhood dog (we got her when I was in like 4th grade I think…).
I loved a lot of things about the last two weeks. I loved getting to see the town my friend lives in, seeing the parish she goes to, meeting the priest she talks ever so favorably about, and of course seeing her get married and her and her husband just glowing with joy and young-love. However, my prayer life was quite different amidst the chaos of the recent days. In Illinois we were really busy, and I wasn’t really in charge of my own schedule, so I squeezed in prayer time usually before I fell asleep, and the Lord was so good to me and so faithful in response to my faithfulness. And then this weekend when I was home it was just me and the dog so it was pretty easy to have time to pray, however, it was hard to focus and the desire was lacking, but I kept showing up anyway.
Yesterday I woke up, got the coffee, and set up for my prayer time like I do every other morning of my life. And I had a similar feeling that I didn’t really desire to do it, but I know it’s good to spend time in scripture and to dwell with our Lord, to show up despite not feeling like it… because faith is a choice, not a feeling or an emotion (but that’s a story for a different day).
Yesterday I asked the Lord for grace to desire to pray. Today, I woke up, made the coffee, and set up for prayer once more. But today I was looking forward to it. The Gospel story was one of my favorites, so that’s always helpful. I’m learning to like the Gospel stories that we’ve heard over and over because as I’ve become more familiar with them I can dive even deeper into the meaning and the Lord, by his grace and mercy, continues to speak through these same passages. Anyway, I got to thinking about the struggles of prayer in the past couple weeks and I realized there was one distinct thing different about praying in the comforts of my own home. The crucifix. There’s a crucifix that hangs on my wall where as I sit on my bed I can see it. So as I’m praying each morning, and through out my day, I often find myself gazing upon this cross, the cross of love, of sacrifice, which reminds me what I’m called to each day. This particular crucifix is one with such special meaning. One of my dearest, oldest friends gave it to me as a gift when I was received into the Catholic Church and it has hung on my wall in every bedroom I’ve had as I moved throughout college.
“Never let your home be without a crucifix upon its walls…”
I recently saw this in my facebook feed, and agreed, but after recent realizations I see where this Saint was coming from. Having a crucifix to look up at frequently throughout my day reminds me what I am called to, to lay down my life for the other. It reminds me who my strength comes from – the Lord. It reminds me how much I am loved – enough for someone to die for my salvation. What a gift the cross is. May our hearts, minds, and eyes be ever fixed on the cross of Christ.