Oh God, you are my God. Earnestly I seek you.
Psalm 63. 1
A Word of Hope
As you examine your own weekly schedule before you, are you faced with a few monotonous tasks you would rather avoid? Is the laundry piling up? Are there clean dishes in the dishwasher that await sorting and storage? Have the lists of more interesting, and therefore more important tasks already begun to take precedence? After all, aren’t those bothersome drudgery tasks intended for people less creative and gifted than you are?
Of course, we have the choice to dread these inevitable parts of our lives as meniel bores or to recognize them as what the members of the Cathedral’s Order of St. Francis and St. Clare call holy monotony. The difference in definition is in finding a way to utilize this gift of time away from the regular flow as an opportunity to improve our relationship with God. An excellent method of accomplishing this is by storing up a few prayer mantras for such occasions.
Mantras are words or phrases we slowly repeat and then repeat again that can center our spirits on our ever present source of inspiration and comfort. The phrase in the Psalm above is one I often recall when I’m cutting out thirty sets of eagle wings for next Sunday’s children’s craft or boxing up a few thousand items I no longer need to donate to a thrift store.
A Mantra needs to be personal, a suggestion or piece of advice from the scriptures or other inspirational writings that resonates especially with you. A good place to begin your search is that gold mine of mantras, the Psalms. Consider Psalm 86.10: “You are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.” Try Psalm 25.4: “Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths.” One of those days when you’re stuck on traffic listening to depressing news on the radio, turn it off and calmly repeat Psalm 27.1: “The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?”
Mental Mantra storage is always a valuable exercise. We can be certain that the daily routine life will always give us ample chances to use them. With a little practice, we can actually look forward to those inevitable periods of Holy Monotony.
Thank you for Holy Monotony and the time it provides us to know you better.
Minister for Children and Families
Order of St. Francis and St. Clare