Today our parish celebrated four men from our parish, and are working their way through seminary discernment of their vocation. It was a wonderful moment to see the men up there.
One of the seminarians reminded us we were a parish of 4,000 families, and many more vocational discernments exist in a parish that size. He asked us to pray for vocations from the men and women in the pews to continue filling our seminaries.
I remembered what good priest told me about a year ago regarding discernment. He told me all the hectic activities we do today divert both adults and children from prayer time. Just think of the distractions we all face: secularized schools where God is forbidden up to ten hours a day, too many sports, too many dance classes, entertainment celebrating drunken and drug filled activity on every station and TV show. Every marketing company seeks to get you attention with each second of your day to sell their wares though logos, tunes, and embedded messages on other media. It creates a mess for forming individual prayer life.
The challenge to each of us is to create the space and habit to pray in the midst of this clutter. We need to pray in silence at first. In a world filled with so much marketing this is actually the greatest challenge. Adding sacred music and art in our prayer time later is a bonus, which when used properly, will draw our minds up to God. From these mountains of life we can feel and see the glory of the Lord.
When the valleys of life come our way (say a 3AM infant which does not want to sleep or the 3 year old having a really challenging day I am talking to between sentences) we can always fall back to our basic memorized prayers bring our daily life back to focus on God. Using these prayers we still remain connected with God despite the noise around us.
Whether we are young or old, we must learn the timeless and priceless traditions of prayer. I am finally understanding this, at the age of 43. So there is hope for us all! John Paul seems to prefer the early morning Rosary already...he made it a point to schedule me in three times already! The boys have me each night for boy prayer time, and my big daughter seems to live her life as a prayer. This is all just wonderful...and I hope a set of traditions we continue through thick or thin.
P.S. This photograph is a real challenge with my camera in one hand and three limbs trapped by a semi-sleeping baby. Battery box attached to my forehead, changing apertures with a loose thumb...it was definitely not a textbook solution. It worked though.