It Takes a While

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It Takes a While

I recently took part in meetings with Benedictine Sisters from around the country. We were at a lovely retreat and convention center. The week was filled with prayer and learning. But I did notice that it took a while for me to become comfortable with the schedule, my bedroom and bathroom, and even the chapel. In fact, it was only on the last day we were there that I went the correct way down the hallway!

It takes a while to get used to most anything. We are creatures of habit and don’t always quickly adjust to changes. It takes a while to feel comfortable with new surroundings and new routines. If you have ever tried to start an exercise program or to change your eating habits you know what I mean. The same is true for our spiritual practices.

The road to having good spiritual practices is paved with good intentions. Getting started in new spiritual practices can be challenging and frustrating. We don’t feel comfortable right away. It takes a while.

Once you pick your new spiritual practice (saying the Rosary, using an app, going to Adoration or meditating), it’s important to structure your time. Pick a time of day and length of time. Sometimes it helps to set two different versions of your time structure. One for days when you are crunched for time and another for days that are more luxurious.

The next thing to do is to create a space that you want to be in and one that is favorable to your new spiritual practice. It can be a room, nook, garage, or dedicated corner. Add a little design flair (candle, picture, plant, comfy chair, or pillows) to make this space special for your new spiritual practice.

Once you have your routine and space, it’s time to make a commitment, an agreement with yourself. You might want to write out a little contract stating your intentions and keep it in a place that you will see every day.

Finally, as Nike says, just do it. Get started. And remember to be gentle with yourself, especially if it is rocky from the start. It takes a while.


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“Our greatest fulfillment lies in giving ourselves to others.”
–Henri Nouwen