Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Environment of Prayer

I am listening to a two CD
talk by Mother Gabriella.
Unfortunately this particular
lecture is not on
ancient faith radio
but there are some of
Mother Gabriella's lectures.
I do recommend them
most highly.
I have been thinking about
a post I have thought to write
but that has remained unwritten
for some years
that the lecture I was listening to
by Mother Gabriella
gave the words to.
It is about creating
an environment of prayer.
A few years ago
when I was struggling with the
fall-out of losing my
full-time library job
I was still listening to many types of music.
One day as I was listening to it
and was by my main icon of St. George
that is above my buffet
and suddenly had the sense that
it was not what I should listen to or be.
I began to realize how much
music can disturb or even destroy my peace.
My time in Ottawa gave me some space
and some gifts.
I had found a regular confessor and
spiritual father;
over the years I changed some of my habits -
I wrote about how I
stopped reading mystery books
as part of my war against anxiety.
Over the years
I have also pretty much
stopped listening to music
outside of Orthodox music and some
classical music.
The lecture by Mother Gabriella also
spoke of the need for regular
confession to begin to learn
what one needs to repent of
and change.
Changes such as these
I am finding are needed
to cultivate an environment
where one can pray
for me
can start to see what is hindering
myself from prayer.
In my last years when I was at home
either working on contract
or looking for work
I had a lot of opportunities
to be quiet.
Times like these helped me begin to see
how things work;
how what we surround ourselves with
influences and impacts our
inner world and life.
How thoughts are a battle ground
and where peace is lost or found.
Now the danger of me writing
about this is that it may lead
someone to think that I live
on a spiritual level that
I simply am not on.
I only have to think of my confession lists
to know that I am a rank beginner.
But I do believe that there is a real
correlation between
what we read, listen to and surround ourselves
with and who we become and how
and in which way we grow.
I am still in the process
of seeking to build
a house for my soul
but the point is
that it is possible.
There really is a God to be found
and to trust;
there is a river that runs in the
city of God;
there is a real spiritual life to be
discovered and lived;
there is such a thing as
life-giving repentance.


Maria said...

God bless you in your seeking!

E Helena E said...

Yes, I am more and more seeing that correlation with what we expose ourselves to and who we become.