I was working on a mailing in the parish office the other day. I had to collate the pages, fold them, and stuff the envelopes, etc. Boring. My mind began to wander and I was suddenly reminded me of the first time that I really understood the idea of how work can be a prayer.
I was volunteering at the monastery in Pecos, NM, where I had taken vows to become a Benedictine Oblate. I had been assigned to the gift shop, which needed a major reorganization and cleaning. One day I was asked to polish some brass statues of Mary. It was such a beautiful day that I decided to bring them outside and polish them while I sat looking at the beautiful Pecos mountains.
As I polished away, I spoke to Mary and Jesus and I prayed. I lovingly polished those statues like there was nothing more important in the world to be doing. I made that task a prayer in itself.
I cannot always be in those beautiful mountains of New Mexico. I cannot always be polishing a statue of Mary. But there is something to be said about living in the present moment. Living in the present moment and paying attention and being aware of what we are doing and offering it all to the Lord.
Living the spiritual life is not always about experiencing spiritual highs or having a mountaintop experience. Living the spiritual life is about living a real life. It is about seeing God where we are.
And serving God from where we live. And knowing that we are where we are supposed to be.
Well, I think that is holy.
For God is with us wherever we are, doing whatever we do. And stuffing envelopes is as much of a call to service as sitting on top of a mountain.
And God is just as present whether we stuff envelopes or fold laundry or polish statues. After all, what had started out as a boring job, became, for me, a special moment of prayer.
It never ceases to amaze me how God works in our lives. At any moment. At every moment.
Copyright 2012 Colleen Spiro
About the Author
Colleen Spiro is a Catholic mother, grandmother and a deacon’s wife. A certified spiritual director, Colleen loves to share her faith and encourage others through her retreats and writings. You can read her reflections at her website, Catholic Prayer Life and read or listen to her podcast at Finding God in the Everyday.