Rush Hour

highway traffic rush hourI had the radio in my car tuned to the #Catholic Channel as I started my drive from work last evening and the program hosts were praying the rosary. Like so many others, I don’t have a regular habit of reciting this beautiful meditation, and my first inclination was to tune away for my regular fix of rapid-fire news or mind-numbing music. But something other than the voices coming through the speakers spoke to me, and although I might normally have changed the dial, I found myself joining in the prayer. At first it was half-heartedly, but as the miles rolled along I found myself immersed in the rhythm of soothing prayer while simultaneously wondering why my knee-jerk reaction had been to avoid it.

It feels shameful to say that, but it’s the truth. This past year I’ve been consciously working on putting into practice St. Paul’s attitude to “pray unceasingly.” I’ve devoted much time to studying the theology of this admonition, and I’ve discovered it’s quite a difficult thing to put into practice, even once the concept is grasped. It’s a concept that really does require you to study and meditate upon it. In today’s world, all these centuries removed from St. Paul’s writings, the hectic pace of a global society, the rapid development of e-commerce and instant communication is hurled at us from all sides. I find my inclination is more often to succumb to the allure or modern day gizmos and gadgets, and the 24/7 access to creature comforts of streaming news, music and mobile apps than it is to make time for enough daily prayer. I use that word because I am making certain effort to include that kind of time in my day. Yet I still wonder how much is enough.

When I reached my destination, they had not yet finished the rosary recitation and I found myself much calmer, much more centered than when I had left the parking lot from work. I sat for another minute or so to finish the rosary decade, praying in unison with the show hosts. And it reminded me of Jesus’ asking “You couldn’t watch with me for one hour?” (Matthew 26)

We fill our days with so much that will only temporarily satisfy us—things that won’t matter at all one day, and yet we make them priority. I find myself wondering why it’s so difficult at times to give God just one hour. Yesterday’s drive gave me new perspective; maybe it’s the time when I’m captive in the car that can lead me into establishing quality prayer and contemplation. Just maybe I can learn how to turn rush hour into prayer hour.

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Want to learn more about the rosary or how to make your own rosary? Click for a video tutorial! Got an iPad? Check out the Bible app for iPad

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