Electric Prayer

The Liturgy of the Hours, the Mass, and other things.

Archive for the ‘Spiritual Life’ Category

How to lend money

Posted by universalis on 20 January 2007

“The good man takes pity and lends”, says Psalm 111. So when a friend of mine asked me to lend him £50 because a cheque had arrived late, I knew what I had to do.

But how to do it? Lending money and borrowing money are good ways of losing friends. Here’s the solution that leapt into my mind at that moment. It worked then, and I’ve told other people about it, and it seems to work for them too.

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Muscular Christianity

Posted by universalis on 26 June 2006

In a secular world full of distractions we need to make space for prayer in any way we can. A friend of mine has an innocent-looking bracelet that just happens to have its beads in groups of 10: perfect for impromptu Rosaries. I used to have ten keys on my key-ring, and that was good too.

Let me commend to you the practice of going to the gym and using the rowing machine. Not that it has ten of anything; but its use involves a longish period of regular, repetitive motion, and I have discovered that that is ideal for simple prayers.

At the rate of one word per stroke, rowing one mile on the machine takes me one Our Father and two Hail Marys. The exact number varies a little: if you add in "In the name of…" at the beginning and "For thine is the kingdom…" at the end, and pull a bit harder, you can cut out one of the Hail Marys.

Praying at this slow pace (a mile takes me over seven minutes) engages the mind in meditation for a good long time. With practice, you can squeeze any number of prayer intentions non-verbally into the gaps between strokes. And from the point of view of exercise, this is something you can do with your eyes shut instead of obsessively observing the display on the ergometer.

It helps if you go to a gym without music.

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