I am SUPER excited for this! 31 mins for peace for 31 days. Before the Feast of St. Ignatius Loyola on July 31 / my 31st birthday!
Before we begin I want to lay out some pre-prayer points:
- THERE ARE NO RULES (except to not use your phone/tv/tablet for these 31 mins a day…. but that is more of a suggestion.)
- “Is this only for Jesuits/ Christians/ Catholics/ Believers?” … heck no! I want these days to be the best, most intentional for you.If you are a Muslim /Jew /Atheist /FormerCatholicWhoOnlyGoesToChurchWhenYouAreWithYourMomBecauseItWouldBreakHerHeartToKnowTheTruth use this month to become a better Muslim/Jew/Atheist/FormerCatholic that being said, I am a Jesuit so some of my content will be from our tradition. Other people will share from theirs. Drink from your own well, as the saying goes.
- “Oh no, I just found this on July 5? 15? 30th? Can I still do it?” Heck yes! Join us. No Rules!
- “How do I sit for 30 mins in silence?” Trust yourself, you got this. Celebrate this silence. We are overloaded with news and noise. Just chill. We will be providing some content/ inspo but its mostly up to just sitting and noticing/ doing what you love: praying, drawing, yoga, etc.
- “What could I do during that time?” Find a comfy chair in a quiet spot. Could be a park bench, could be in your living room. Sit and breathe, congratulate yourself on making this time! Begin by thinking of how you are feeling and why you are feeling that way: any particular gratitudes from the day? Any stress or anxiety? Breathe it out. Sit with it. Where in your body do you feel that particular emotion? Become curious rather than judgmental (” focus! Why can’t you focus?!” Vs. “hmmm its interesting I’m feeling super fidgety/ annoyed I wonder what’s going on?”) when we become curious we explore a feeling rather than condemn it. Just sit, watch the trees, watch the kids playing outside, watch the cars pass. Ask for a grace you need. St. Ignatius tells us to name what we need from God. If you need a moment of silence, pray for that, if you need some clarity, pray for that. If you just need 31 mins to be alone. Go for it! If you need a good sense of humor to deal with 77 middle schoolers at a summer camp, like I do, pray for it!
- It will be awkward at first, thats ok. No rules, no judgement! You are making the time. There is NO right or wrong way to pray. If a car honks, roll with it. Your doorbell rings, roll with it.
- Does journaling work for you? Maybe jot a note or two each day of the 31 days. Keep track of what your grateful for: big and small.
- Invite a few friends to join you! Community and accountability are always good things. I know I need them! Check in with each other to stay committed. Send a text.
- Use our hashtags on social media #31MinsForPeaceChallenge or #31minsforPeace
Today’s prayer inspiration comes from the Patron Saint of Noticing, Mary Oliver
“Wild Geese” You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves. Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. Meanwhile the world goes on. Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain are moving across the landscapes, over the prairies and the deep trees, the mountains and the rivers. Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again. Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, the world offers itself to your imagination, calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting — over and over announcing your place in the family of things.