I was out of town for a couple days, and it’s nice to see the replies. You guys that have decided to go back to reading it, try to search this thread after you have done so and tell us what you thought!
puzzleannie, great advice. I’ve worked in trades all my life, usually self-employed, 4 kids at home, so practices that have helped me maintain a spiritual conciousness while in the eye of the material and everyday storm have always been a pursuit.
ncjohn, the story of your father is very moving. re: wanting to want, that is also great advice. I’ve often thought that having unanswered questions is a great place to be, compared to not figuring out that a question is present.
Jim, I guess, as you suggest, that any kind of mindfulness or recollection practice can be an integrative step. I’ve had a lot of experience with meditation in non-Christian and secular settings. Looking back, I see a lot of it was barking up the wrong tree, for me anyway, but per the paragraph above, at least I was in a forest. People look within, may see different things, but I can say for sure that contemplative practices led me back to Christianity and specifically to the Catholic church.
Lily, thank you for reminding me of that prayer in this context. It makes me realize that Brother Lawrence probably also had foundational prayers that he repeated, even though he writes about the casual and conversational styles of prayer. Like much historical writing, it helps to remember that the most commonly shared beliefs and practices are self-evident to the readers and writers, especially in letters and journals. I wonder what prayers were typical for his order in his era?