"Never give us praying. And when you pray keep alert and be thankful." Col 4:2
Though most Catholics will not celebrate the feast of St. Isidore the Farmer today, he is a someone who reminds us of very basic, but often forgotten or neglected, principles of Gospel life. We have only one life and must learn to recognize God in the middle of it. Most of us, unfortunately, because we are so busy about making a living, going to school or raising children, have learned to pray as the day begins and then go to work, but that is not what Isidore teaches us.
There was no disjunction in Isidore's life between his spiritual quest and his everyday chores. As a farmer, he prayed as he worked. Long days behind a plow allow for this kind of piety, and while it is not a good idea to operate heavy machinery and meditate, we do have to find more ways to integrate daily life with our spiritual quest.
Pausing to take a breath or three throughout the day is a spiritual practice which can help us live more naturally and in tune with the rhythms of the earth. Many have also found it helpful to pray as they wait for the computer to turn on each day, and others find sites like Sacred Space very helpful. In any case, unless we find ways to breathe deeply and acknowledge the God who is always among us, our lives will lack the fire the Gospel intends.
Today, stop twice intentionally, breathe and be grateful for life.
What practices do you have that help you attend to God's loving presence?