“…it's more to do with how you see your family - are they competition for your prayer life, or are they your praying community? So do you take your 20 minutes and sneak off to the least noisy room in the house - or do you start with the assumption 'This is my praying community - I need to find a way of praying that works for us as a family'?
Far too many … spend their time struggling to pray with the non-existent community they wish they were praying with, rather than the actual community God has given them.
It seems to me that celibate/monastic spirituality is based on the assumption that a person will have ready access to solitude and silence at any time. Family life is not that sort of atmosphere, so we need to find a way of discipleship/spirituality that grows naturally out of that environment.
I’m a working Mum. Finding quiet time to pray without interruption is very challenging. But Tim’s comment shifted that – rather than finding ways to pray away from my family, to try finding ways to pray with my family.
It was timely that I read this just at the beginning of advent. A new start for a new season. I raided the emergency candle stash, found a tin foil plate and some tinsel and quickly created a basic Advent wreath. Okay, the candles aren’t traditional colours, and the blu-tac is a little bit wobbly, but it works.
After dinner that night, at the beginning of December, I sat the family down and lit the first candle. We read from the Bible through the Seasons resource, and we prayed together. The children loved the idea. It’s now the third week of Advent and we now have three candles lit each evening.
It’s part of slowing down instead of always being busy. I’ve been reading lots of your blogs out there with all the wonderful crafts and activities you’re doing with your families, and its great. But this year I’m choosing to do less, and spend more time praying and reflecting.
Can I encourage you to join me in a Slow Advent for this last week before Christmas? “As Slow Food is to Fast Food - so Slow Advent is to most people's "Season of Advent".”