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Creating Your Prayer Space

By Damian Torres-Botello, S.J.

Every once in a while, when you’re trying to intentionally steal away some quiet and calm, it’s nice to have a place that’s all your own. It may not seem like a big deal, having a dedicated space for silent reflection and meditation, but it can be quite nice when moving out of the busy noise of life and into the serene recesses of your heart.

The photo above is my prayer space. It’s located in a corner of my room. I celebrate my faith and spirituality through the Catholic tradition sprinkled with Mexican-American culture. Most of the items on my little table reflect these beliefs, while some remind me of important parts of my life.

When I am ready for some quiet, I light a candle to distinguish this new movement of my day as being apart from my often boisterous daily activities. Sometimes I use Insight Timer, a meditation app to help me keep track of time, especially during those frenzied days when I need silence and tranquility the most.

My little prayer table includes a prayer journal from a memorable mission trip I took to Lima, Peru, and a cherished photo of my mother who passed away a couple of years ago. I have a little book where I record names of family and friends who have died, candles gifted to me by dear confidants, my favorite prayer cards and book, prayer beads and a family rosary, and my vow cross given to me the day I took vows as a Jesuit.

These items keep me grounded when I feel distracted, lost in my head or lonely, rejoicing at life or grateful for something wonderful. I’m a very tactile person, and holding one of the items calms me and guides me into a more contemplative and peaceful place. I value this little nook in my room, and it makes my 31 minutes a welcoming space for my heart.

Here are some articles that can help you create your own meditation or prayer space.

Ignatius Who?!

31MinsForPeaceChallenge ends on July 31, the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola. But, who is this guy? Take a look at the video and discover the man who inspired a movement.

wysija-youtube-color-player

The Journey

By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Did You Know?!

Did you know, if you are joining 31MinsForPeace days into the month of July, you can still participate? This challenge is not a club, or a race, or something to achieve. This challenge is a motivational tool for you to uncover ways you can discover intentional time in your day for reflection, or meditation, or contemplation, or quiet and calm and peace. Start today because this moment right now is always the best time to begin!