The importance of practicing

One of the spiritual practices I hope to more fully grow into is "praying the hours." I am learning about it through a book written by Macrina Wiederkehr called Seven Sacred Pauses. Early in the book she talks about the importance of practicing. When we want to get good at something - we practice. Athletes, musicians, essentially anyone desiring to improve in their sport or art or area of interest - practices. She writes, "Why should the spiritual life be any different? We practice pausing to remember the sacredness of our names, who we are, and what we plan on doing with the incredible gift of our lives - and how we can learn to be in the midst of so much doing. We have to practice loving and forgiving. We practice breathing and being careful with one another's life. We practice non-violence. We practice enjoying what we have rather than storing up possessions. We practice silence."

Pausing for brief prayers throughout the day at regular times, she proposes, highlights our call to be. In the middle of all your doing - "Divine hands are stilled cupped around your becoming, and the best way to cooperate with those hands is to practice being present."

In the same way that morning opens us to a new day - practicing regular sacred pauses can give us small awakenings as we go about the obligations and activities that occupy our time.

May your pauses today remind you of the Divine hands that hold you.