My Prayer Goal for Day One of "Back in the Carmel Saddle Again"
Get up early
Find the Bible
Read Something in John
Pray "The Prayer of the Quiet" for 15 minutes*
(I'm going back to 15 minutes in morning/15 minutes in the evening because 30 straight minutes is too hard for me right now. If you'd never prayed "mental prayer" before just start with 5 minutes. If mental prayer is super hard for you, try to go 7 to 10 minutes).
Mental Prayer is "placing yourself before God in silence." Try to clear your mind and listen to God. If you get distracted, gently bring yourself back to the task of "listening in silence." When you are still, the intellect will come up with all kinds of "urgent" tasks to do or serious problems to think about. St. Teresa of Avila said "pay no attention to this chatter than you would to a mad woman talking in your attic." DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP FOR SUCKING AT THIS PRAYER! Prayer is hard work. Practice makes perfect.
Update: Well, I didn't get up on time. So I prayed alone at 6:05, instead of 5:30 with my husband. UGGH! I'm so weak I can't even sit still physically for more than 5 minutes. I'm a Carmelite who watches the clock--even for only 15 minutes. But at least I did it and got through Morning Prayer, so today counts as a "personal best" right? (That's what my Cross-Country coach, Miss Jane Poundstone used to say to me. The first timed run of a season always stunk, but it counted as a "personal best"--something to track your progress in for future meets.)
Thank you for everyone who is training in prayer with me!!!! Just keep going!