What Contributes to a Good Quiet Time?
You sit down to pray and your mind is racing a thousand miles a minute. A sound bothers you. Your stomach rumbles. What was going to be a nice time of prayer is quickly slipping away...
Can you relate?
We’ve talked a lot about the components of a morning quiet time. There are tried and true “parts” to this ancient practice.
What we might take for granted, especially when it comes to morning prayer, are the other factors that can impact a morning quiet time.
I think of the story from St. Therese of Lisieux. During prayers in the chapel, another sister would make a sort of clacking noise which Therese found quite distracting. While at first an annoyance, she found a way to turn the sister’s peculiarities into something pleasant. Over time, she would look forward to the other sister’s noise.
By the way, I had a college roommate who snored like you can’t imagine. A train (snoring) literally came through our room each night! Unlike Therese, I didn’t have the virtue to see his snoring as a gift.
Back to the topic at hand- which factors contribute to your morning quiet time?
Here are four that stand out for me:
1. Sound. What’s going on around you? Are you alone? Is anyone else nearby? How about environmental sounds like birds outside or a train passing by... take note of these things.
2. How you are feeling physically? Are you hungry or tired? Does anything pain you? How is your posture? Take note of these things.
3. Temperature. Are you cold? Hot? Do you need to take off your jacket? Is your belt too tight? Take note of these things.
4. Desire. As you enter into prayer, are you feeling as if you want to pray? Does it feel routine today? Are you happy about this experience? Take note of these things.
We could add probably a dozen other things that impact your daily quiet time. The key is to take note of things, both inside you and outside of you. Then, as with all things, offer the moment and your heart up to the Lord. He will take care of the rest.