10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Word of God with a prayerful heart.
By Susanne Timpani (No. 230)
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. Matthew 6:6
Susanna Wesley, the mother of the famous preachers John and Charles, gave birth to nineteen children and lived in a tiny house. The only place she could retreat to pray was the corner of her kitchen. Her children knew that when she sat there with her face hidden behind her apron, woe betide anyone who disturbed her. This was her sacred space.
The word, sacrosanct, first came into use around the 15th Century. It virtually disappeared from everyday English for a few hundred years, making a comeback in recent times. It is derived from two Latin words: sacro 'by a sacred rite' and sanctus, 'holy.'
I've heard it applied to routines, places and personal values. Web designers use it to refer to the 'white space' on the left hand side of webpages.
In today's reflection, Jesus gave a beautiful image of the sacrosanct ritual of prayer. Like Susanne Wesley, we don’t always have our own room to disappear for quiet time. Sometimes we have no option but to capture a scripture or an image and withdraw into a sacred space inside ourselves, while in the 'marketplace'.
Like any relationship, if we rely solely on those adhoc moments we might find we make minimal progress. Creating a 'sacrosanct' approach to prayer fosters a deep relationship between ourselves and God.
I light a candle to pray. It's a reminder to myself and others that I'm unavailable to face distractions.
I also light my candle to write. This defines the sacrosanct ritual I attach to writing. Applying the discipline of prayer to writing enriches my writing. Applying the discipline of writing to prayer enriches my prayer.
Are there sacrosanct moments in your own life? Perhaps you have exercise routines, settling routines with young children, house and garden chores, study?
Can you apply the value you place on one of those moments to develop your prayer? Or apply your sacrosanct approach to prayer to enrich your life in one of those other precious moments?