This is a guest post by Greg Herrle for Week Five of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure.
These past two weeks have been particularly hectic for me at work, which I found to take focus away from dedicating time to this Ignatian Prayer Adventure. However, due to the hectic work schedule, I found myself trying to integrate my prayer life throughout my workday more than usual. As things got stressful, I tried to find ways to calm myself with prayer.
Last year during Lent, my wife and I began praying the rosary on a sporadic basis. We continued this from time to time during the past year. While hiking the Ignatian Way this summer, I found that praying the rosary would help set a prayerful mood for the day, allowing me a greater appreciation of my surroundings. Now back in the “real” world, I find that taking a quick minute to say a Hail Mary has a similar effect. Although brief, it serves as a reminder of what is important in life, particularly when the world around me seems to fly by.
One of this week’s reflections is the Meditation on Two Standards. I remember hearing this exercise for the first time while making the Exercises during high school. I thought it was such a cool idea, probably like St. Ignatius did, to think of life as a war between good and evil. On a subsequent retreat, a good friend of mine gave a talk about this and mentioned something I carry with me today. He hypothesized that as we go through life and wage war in the army of Christ, we stock our war chest through our prayer lives. Every prayer we say or retreat we make, we gather more and more ammunition in the fight against evil, and we make our defenses stronger.
I think times during life where we struggle to find time for prayer and reflection are the most important battles for the army of Christ. Winning these battles, by finding time throughout these hectic days for prayer, will be the key for us to win the war.