Sunday Gospel reflections: Prayerful pauses
3rd Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday), Year A
Be patient, brothers and sisters, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. (James 5:7)
I gave a talk in a parish on prayer once and spoke a bit about what I call “monastic time.” That is, prayer in a monastery is much different than it is, say, in a normal parish, and not just because it happens around the clock. Prayer in a monastery is … relaxed. It is deliberate. There is absolutely no rush. There are pauses between the lines of prayers and between responses.
At the end of my talk, the pastor suggested that the group pray the Lord’s Prayer on “monastic time”: slowly, pausing between the stanzas.
It was hard. The pull to just jump into the next line without even a breath was fierce and difficult to resist. But gradually, we fell into the rhythm and learned patience. The pull to see what comes next is strong, in prayer and life. But the Lord tells us: patience. Let go. In the pauses, in the silence, in the waiting, he does his work.
Lord, teach me patience as I wait for you.
— Amy Welborn
Isaiah 35:1-6A, 10
Psalm: 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10