Friday, July 17, 2015

The Sacraments of Sorting

In this post about ways to celebrate the long season of Ordinary Time (the time between Pentecost and Advent, the longest liturgical season of the church year), I came across this quote: 

"Today, choose one everyday action: a chore that grates at you or a task you’ve been putting off. Tomorrow, try to do it as prayer. Slowly, mindfully, sacrificially.

See what happens when you open yourself to a deeper awareness of God’s presence with you. Right now in the ordinary moments of your life."

If we could be successful in following this suggestion, we might attain a more sacramental frame of mind, by which I mean we might see the presence of the Divine in the everyday, seeing ordinary objects/tasks as pointing us to evidence of God's grace.

I have managed a sacramental frame of mind when I do housekeeping chores, like preparing a meal or washing the dishes.  It's a different sacramental frame of mind from the one I often attain when doing yard work.

But when I read this suggestion, I thought about what I've been putting off.  I thought about my e-mail inbox, which is always overflowing.  My AOL mailbox never shuts me off, so I rarely delete e-mails.  My work e-mail system, on the other hand, only lets me get away with this for so long.

How could I approach the e-mail inbox more reverently?  Where do I see evidence of God's grace?

Likewise, at my school, we have just entered a time period of lots of forms and paperwork.  In advance, I know that we will be completing the same form over and over again.  I will be making lots of copies.  We will copy some of the same information across forms that don't always want to speak to each other.

I would like to approach these tasks with a different prayer.  I usually pray for patience and then at some point, my prayers shift to asking for deliverance.  What if I changed my prayers?  I could say a prayer of gratitude for all these great people in my department, all these accomplishments collected on the forms.

It's an experiment worth trying.

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