This is part three of a series on prayer. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
My legs were burning. I desperately needed water. My heart was beating fast. I could barely talk. I hadn’t just returned from a run, mowing the lawn (thankfully we rent so I don’t do that), or from the weight room. I was just walking up…THE STAIRS!
Those fateful items were my form of exercise this past weekend. It was not intentional exercise-in fact, every time I have to walk up the things I groan, tisk, and sigh-it’s simply because we have a two-story house.
That’s why I was disappointed when Dene’ asked for a second time, “Do you have James’ water bottle?” James, the hydrater in training that his dad has taught him to be, likes to sleep with his water bottle. We were putting him to bed and Dene’ asked me to go get it downstairs. I walked down the stairs, strolled around the kitchen mindlessly for several minutes before filling up my own YETI, and promptly returning to James’ room…without his water bottle. Back down the stairs and, unfortunately, back…up…the…stairs.
If you are like me, this sort of thing happens often. I have a goal in mind-something as simple as going to get a water bottle-and several minutes later I don’t accomplish the goal and, even worse, don’t remember what the goal even was! That’s why my next form of prayer is so vital!
Catholic mindfulness. Mindfulness is “paying attention to the present moment without judgment or criticism.” When Dene’ leaves for work and the boys are set up for success for the day, I do a mindfulness exercise. This usually takes 10-15 minutes and begins with a prayer asking God for the grace to help us be present with Him during the exercise. For our prayer purposes, this is a way I receive God’s love, grace, and mercy in the here and now, knowing that God only gives me that love, grace, and mercy in the present moment. It also helps me live in the present moment during the day so I can avoid those water bottle/stair experiences. Too, it aids me in remaining cognizant of my identity as a son of God in the ups and downs of my day.
If you would like to learn more about Catholic mindfulness, I would recommend visiting this website and purchasing this book. I will do another post about how this practice has impacted my life later.
How do you remain aware of God’s loving presence throughout the day? Please comment below!
*Gregory Bottaro, The Mindful Catholic: Finding God One Moment At a Time (North Palm Beach: Beacon Publishing, 2018), 3.
Bottaro, Gregory. The Mindful Catholic. North Palm Beach: Beacon Publishing, 2018.