Donna and I are now the Godparents of a beautiful little girl named Audrey. She was baptized last Sunday at St Paul’s Castle Hill, an Anglican church I attended for a number of years and obviously where the parents, our friends Darren and Kathryn, continue to worship.
The occasion has prompted me to re-evaluate my current prayer practices. I tend to be spiritually spontaneous, which means I naturally meditate on scripture and pray to God in the course of my everyday life. As my soul ebbs and flows I dip into the waters of God’s Spirit for guidance and strength – no discipline required. Yet if I seek to pray routinely for our Godchildren (we also recently became the Godparents of a little boy named Peter at the invitation of other friends of ours) then discipline is precisely what I need more of.
I find myself once again reading up on the ancient practice of the Divine Office. Similar to most material you’ll find on meditation a lot of it was written with monks in mind. It is very formulaic and not particularly to my taste. Nevertheless I appreciate the intent behind it, of incorporating prayer into the rhythms of the day in a disciplined way.
I suppose what I am groping towards at the moment is a sort of synergy. One that integrates visualization with sub vocalized requests, formal prayers with spontaneous expression. I am aware that many other Christians are rediscovering this ancient form of spiritual discipline. What I am most keen to see, however, is how people are contextualizing it for non-monastic situations. Anyway, in the meantime one of my prayers is going to be for a tad more discipline and perseverance.