Bro. Mike Sheerin, FMS, writes, “How might we pray in our busy world? Remembering Vincent DePaul as a man of prayer which rooted and anchored his actions, we are invited to do likewise.”
Much of what is being written on the spiritual life these days indicates a growing number of people recognizing the desire, even the need to develop the inner life. Contemporary thinking also reminds us that even if this quest does not show up as a regular spiritual practice, people are still seeking ways to cultivate balance in an otherwise hectic, round the clock environment. Whatever the motivation, ours as Vincentians embraces the development of the inner life as our way of getting closer and more in touch with our God. The obvious way to do so is to find some time apart. Not an easy task, but one worth considering. A favorite place, a particular view, a peaceful atmosphere devoid of excessive noise, an iPod holding inspirational music, a book, or scripture passage are some of the homework preps that need tending so that the time apart is allowed and then might be fruitful.
Many of us as Vincentians are part of a community of believing people whose simple presence together serve as reminded of the inner life alive and growing. I often sense this at Mass on campus. We all recognize that much is already available online 24/7 and can be accessed before you start work or while on the way to work or school. I often tell students here at St. John’s to take advantage of the time spent walking to and from class as meditation/reflection time. Reviewing our day and carving out a few moments can go a long way in nurturing our inner life. If we admit it, that little review can expose a few pockets of time to allow ourselves to enter a spiritual inner space. The question surfaces – are we willing to do that review, that prep and then the exercise!
So, where is YOUR inner space located in your life? How do you access that space? What helps you arrive in that space? What do you do once you get there? It is that inner space which will help us distress and balance the outer space, which is always at our door. It is a clear way of being good to ourselves so that we can be good to others who need our goodness. As Vincent said, “It is chiefly in prayer that God will give you strength.”