By James A. Harnish
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Additional resources for 365 Meditations for Men
Amen. Week 4, Monday Fullness of Joy Read Psalms 16. As a Benedictine prioress, Joan Chittister's life is radically different from mine, but I identify with her definition of prayer as “a chance to sit down and reflect on something more important than getting out today's mail.... The function of prayer is to give expression to the signs of joy and hope you see. It's the place to count your real joys” (Joan Chittister, “A Sign and a Choice,” Sojourners, June 1987, p. 19). As I have learned to pray with the psalms, Psalms 16 has become the central song of my soul.
Interuptions are part of our human condition and have been so since day one of creation. The biblical record is filled with accounts of people being interrupted. Noah dropped everything else when he received a stormy weather report from the Almighty. A burning bush radically changed Moses' plans as he tended sheep in the wilderness. A birth announcement from God drastically altered the comfortable old age Abraham and Sarah had anticipated. Daniel's life took a sudden turn in that lions' den. Several disciples went immediately from plain old fishing to fishing for people's souls.
I like it. It tells me I am loved profoundly by my Creator; that God goes with me into the depths of my soul. God understands there are times when words aren't necessary. And so do we. A smile is what's needed, or a touch on the shoulder, a handshake, a hug, or shedding a few tears together. Love is always to be shared with the beloved. Perhaps sighing is the most beautiful and genuine prayer of all, a precious gift of the Spirit. O God, quiet my anxious spirit and let me feel your love as close as a parent's sighing.