When I was first ordained I confided to Sr. Andrea, at the Order of St. Helena, that I was having trouble finding time to read Morning Prayer. I was a newly wed at the time. She responded quickly and fervently: she didn’t think it was a good idea to roll out of bed early leaving the husband behind for the sake of my spiritual life. She wasn’t sure that I needed to read Morning Prayer at all.
I was taken aback: this was not advice I was expecting from a nun, and especially not from a nun to a priest. But her gentleness set a tone for me which I have kept: my rule ought to be kind, to myself and to those I love. Certainly a spiritual practice warrants solitude, but it had best not be an escape. Husbands, lovers, babies, dogs, teen-agers – all have to hold their places in our regard. Sometimes, surprisingly, putting God first means tending to these others now and praying later. Or praying differently. Or, oh joy, praying together.
We’d love to hear and share your reflections of the challenges, hesitations, rewards, decisions, and questions that have informed how you have (or haven’t!) created and lived your own Rule of Life! We invite you to email your reflections to firstname.lastname@example.org.