Tag Archives: priority

Windows into the Soul—and Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, June 1, 2015

french window in Taylor House  (Some Old Dorchester Houses)

french window in Taylor House
(Some Old Dorchester Houses)

Windows into the Soul—and Prayer

It’s a new month, and I have a new book to help me in my prayer and meditation practice.

Handbook for the Soul is a compilation, a change of pace from my concentration on Ignatian spirituality in the month of May. This new book traces different ways of relating to our souls. This, the very first chapter, talks about transcendent experiences.

Each person’s individual experience of transcendence is different. It depends on what kind of impression each person brings to the situation. Or, spiritual presence, as described by the person themselves. It holds countless experiences of deep feelings or stirrings within the soul, itself.

Jean Shinoda Bolen, author of today’s reflection on soul, tells the reader that she has fairly regular experiences to reach up—or down—or deep into on the person. You and I, we stand at the presence, the soul, deep down.

Let me give you some experiences searching for the soul. In Jean Shinoda Bolen’s own words: “ . . . you don’t have to wait for disaster. You can open yourself to the possibility of nourishing your soul, and you can make it a priority. Take careful stock of the ways you spend your life energies, doing things that are not so nourishing. . . . When you’re so consumed, you don’t have very many moments in which to experience the soul.” [1]

Shinoda Bolen advises her readers to take stock of how deprived our lives are. Empty of sources of joy, beauty and creativity. Some individuals find nurture in those silent parts of their insides, their souls. Others remember some hidden or forgotten activity or pleasurable source of inner delight. Recognize it. Make room for it. Open yourself up to it. That is the thing—the soul-nourishing moment.

To be aware of the soul—a worthwhile concept. But, to nurture and nourish soul needs and give satisfaction to the soul? Is there anything more profoundly freeing?

Dear God, thank You for this reorientation towards the soul, and soul needs. Nurturing my inner being is a necessary part of life. You call us to care for ourselves as much as we care for others. Gracious God, be with us as we concentrate on this important focus. Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayers.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Handbook of the Soul, Richard Carlson and Benjamin Shield, editors. (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1995) 6.

Day #36 – Do I Do the Dirty Work?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Tuesday, March 31, 2015

BK help people

Day #36 – Do I Do the Dirty Work?

I laughed when I read this post with today’s suggestion. I really did. Believe it or not, I did exactly this, yesterday morning. I did some spot cleaning in the bathroom yesterday before I left for work. Not unusual. I sometimes do this. Give a quick wipe to the surfaces in the bathroom. The sink, the toilet top. The mirror. But yesterday, I went the extra mile. The next step.

The bathtub was looking especially grimy. We had the older bathtub refinished last spring, and it looked amazing! But that was a year ago. With four growing and grown people using the bathtub in our condo on a regular basis, we quickly got the bathtub grimy. You know, with soap scum. (Gee, I feel a bit scummy, just thinking about it!)

As I gave the bathtub some swipes with the cleanser, using some elbow grease, I was gratified to see the bathtub come clean. (Or, at least, clean-er.) However, this is not my favorite-est chore in the world. Far from it!

I have a confession to make. My name is Elizabeth, and I am not the best at cleaning my house. It’s not that I live amidst piles of crap. I definitely do not live in a place with half-eaten food and other remains littered in front of the television! Heaven forbid. No! However, even though I have some ancestors who came from Poland, I did not inherit the Polish cleaning genes that some of the females in my extended family did.

(I can remember some of the grandmas, in the neighborhood of Chicago where I grew up, who kept spotless houses. One Polish grandma several doors down from our house even washed the garage floor. Imagine!)

I can clean. I even do a good job for other people! Like seniors, or shut-ins, or people who have just gotten out of the hospital. I honestly enjoy doing things for others. However, having a perfectly clean house is just not a priority for me. So, today’s suggestion gave me some pause. I definitely have some work to do in this area!

Dear God, thanks for giving me four working limbs so that I am easily able to clean house. Help motivate me to clean, more often. I mean, more often than I do, now. And thanks, especially, for giving me a heart to help out others! I know that’s important to You, too. As is often the case, You would like me to reach some balance. Help me work on that. Amen. So be it, Lord!


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

(Check out #40acts; doing Lent generously at www.40acts.org.uk )

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And read #40acts sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .