I was twice touched today.
Dropped by the confessional this afternoon. My good priest was sitting there reading a book in the dim light. I had nothing earth-shattering this time, it was just "time". Kind of like you get your oil changed before it stops working. My kinda-sorta rule of thumb is once a month or so and/or before I serve as a Eucharistic Minister.
Sometimes I know that I am a prayer-slacker. Especially during weeks like this when everything is out of sync. So we discussed prayer in depth. Or rather, he gave counsel on prayer and I mostly listened. Quality over quantity, he says. Even if it's just five minutes that you give to the Lord. It's more about listening, than talking....it's about the relationship.
So, prayer is not just something whereupon you think back at the end of a day, "Well, my life today was a prayer...." No, giving love, sharing love, which is what prayer is, requires a conscious choice. Some days, the prayer may be offering everything to God, but it is a conscious thing.
I struggle with a routine, with making prayer a conscious choice, a conscious part of my day. Mass is a given of most days, and on most school days, a stop at the church across the street for a few minutes of quiet in front of the Blessed Sacrament is easily done. But beyond that...it's a wasteland. I know I could put down my iPad and say the Rosary. Especially in light of current events in this country or even in my family. But another game of Bingo Bash holds so much promise. Or just checking that Facebook status one more time. Good in their own right, but a pain in the larger picture.
And, as he pointed out...I am not him. I am not Teresa of Avila. I am Karen of ThisPlace. My prayer, his prayer, her prayer....all differ in structure and routine. If only I knew what my routine needed to be...
And for your penance...he has a twinkle in his eye...."when you hear the Gospel today, and you hear Jesus ask if you can drink from the cup, you say, 'Yes, I can. And I will.' But you will have to wait to find out what is in the cup."
The Cup that we must drink...the same one that Jesus drank....self-emptying love. And what does that mean? When we forgive and empty ourselves of anger and hurt; when we say 'no' to temptation or sin; when we come together to offer fitting worship - not just going through the motions, and empty ourselves of distractions; when we do an act of kindness for another, especially when they don't deserve it. All drinking from the cup. The questions is....are we thirsty?
So a two-sacrament day. Jesus reaching out and touching me. How awesome is that?