I confess that I’m at Conception Abbey for a bit of solitude until Thursday. I confess that the abbey is one of my favorite places on the planet. As a part of my spiritual rule of life, I typically spend around 25 days a year up here. I confess that I miss my family terribly for the first 12-24 hours. Then I can actually give myself to the solitude. I confess that I once went 48 hours w/out speaking here. I confess that this will not happen this time.
I confess that this is the first time I’ve decided to blog while at the abbey. I confess that I’m not sure that this should be allowed. Doesn’t it break the spirit of a private spiritual retreat? Praying with the monks and blogging? It’s a little weird. I confess that I’m going to give myself a pass on this one and try to keep my posts limited to the topic at hand: retreat and prayer.
I confess that I was well into my late twenties before someone pointed out to me that my prayers (despite my ACTS training… adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication), were mostly about asking God to do stuff I wanted God to do.
I confess that I’m staying in the new guest house at the abbey which is nice like a brand new hotel. I’m a little thrown off because I’m used to the old dorms which are a bit more austere. I’m not complaining. I can control my own room temp…
I confess that I pray better when I am walking or singing (chanting). I confess that the sound of the psalms being chanted does something crazy to my soul.
I confess that last night’s “The Newsroom” was my favorite episode thus far. Sorkin’s deconstruction of the media is genius. I confess that I think all of the Kansas references owe to the fact that Alex Graves is from here. I confess that I think last night’s slam on Manhattan, KS owes to the fact that Graves went to KU.
I confess that 1:05 prayer is perhaps my favorite office. It’s the most subdued, no instruments, and it’s almost always from ps. 119.
I confess that as an evangelical Protestant, I am very aware that I still have no idea what to do with the psalms. I feel so inferior to the Anglicans and Catholics on this one. I’ve been praying the psalms daily since 2003, and more recently my rhythm has been taking me through them every 2 months. All I know right now is that they are tethering me to something vast; something I don’t yet understand. So I just keep praying them 3-4 times a day. I have this feeling that they are making my prayers conform to a new pattern – something like seeking first the kingdom of God – and making them less about getting God to do stuff.
I confess that when I pray lament psalms, I learn what it is to intercede for those who are really suffering. My pseudo-suffering is drawn into harsher focus. I have it really, really good.
Okay, I made my confession… you make yours!