A Certain Place

The room where I quilt, the arms of my husband, and sitting in my inherited wingback chair are some of my favorite places. Jesus was praying in a certain place, and his friends asked him to teach them to pray. (Luke 11:1) I always focused on the words of the Our Father that follow. But today it was that certain place that stopped me in my mental tracks. Perhaps the first teaching on prayer, for […]

The Chapel That Moves with Us

There’s no doubt that the pace of our culture continues to get busier and faster. Our days are more cramped with appointments, commitments, and to-do lists. I watch as my own family and families around me seem to leave home earlier in the morning and return later in the evening as we attempt to make more time to accomplish all that we need to do. How can daily prayer time find its place within this […]

A Prayerful Environment

It’s summertime, and for many of us, summer means time at a beach somewhere. What a great place to pray! What a perfect place in which to blend our prayer with play. Might we allow ourselves to get lost in the activity of building things with sand? Might we create homey spaces with umbrellas, chairs, mats, and towels? Might we gaze into clouds or across the water and allow that gaze to be a prayer […]

Grounded Prayer

I think that sometimes we make prayer difficult because we separate it from what is concrete in daily life. We develop the attitude that prayer is supposed to be something in the mind and heart, a spiritual quality hard to define and somewhat elusive to experience. Yet Jesus urged his disciples to pray, to ask God for what they wanted, and to never give up at prayer. The Gospel accounts tell of his regular excursions […]

Five Ways to Create a Good Space for Prayer

Taking inventory of the various spaces in your life probably gave you some ideas—it may have inspired you, which is good, because now you’re going to create some space just for prayer. Here are five basic steps to help you start. I’m sure that by the time you’re at step 3, you’ll have generated various additional steps that work for you. Step 1: Choose indoors or outdoors. If you’re like me and many other people, […]

Praying When Your Routine Changes

Summer’s here! As a mom, I love summer because of the slower routine in the morning, the lack of homework and projects, and a pause in my kids’ extracurricular activities. With summer, though, comes a change in routine that can often impact my prayer life. While I hate to admit it, the routine change can sometimes cause my prayer life to be rather bumpy until the desolation that crops up serves as a reminder from […]

Take Inventory of Your Spaces

There’s a reason the Christian world, whether in a small Midwestern town in the U.S. or on the streets of Rome, is dotted with spaces meant for prayer. From earliest times, people on spiritual quests understood that space mattered. It mattered if the space for prayer was crowded with worshippers or if it was a solitary monk’s cell. It mattered if the halls echoed music or silence or noise from the street. It mattered what […]

A Place to Pray

In Loyola Press’s recently issued children’s book, Dear Pope Francis, a child asks the Pope where he likes to pray. His answer is that there are a few places he prays regularly (at his desk, or in the church before the Blessed Sacrament) but that he has learned that he can pray anywhere, even when he’s at the dentist’s office. He makes it clear that prayer is a moveable activity, that God is always listening, […]

Space and Place of Prayer

Weeks away from the due date for our third child, I find myself in full-out nesting mode! I am not sure where the energy or drive comes from, but with both of my other pregnancies, something deep within me suddenly propelled me into the action of prepping the space to welcome a new child. This pregnancy is no different. For the last two months, I felt the desire within me well up, and I began […]