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March 11, 2005
Don't make your prayer a job. It's a gift. Don't make it a grim and costly ticket you must buy in order to gain admittance to the divine love -- you're already there.

When you begin to exercise it's hard. You don't feel well. You don't like to sweat. Moving hurts. Everyone else is stronger and faster and looks better. You know that years of not moving have been bad for you, and now you feel like you're being punished for it. But you keep going.

And soon you begin to feel different. Wonderful. Soon you love to move, even love to sweat, soon your body loves it -- it's what your body's made to do. Soon you feel strong. Soon you don't care what other people look like. Soon you don't feel guilty any more -- you're doing good things for the body God gave you, and you're being blessed every time you do them.

Spiritual discipline is just like that. It can be hard at first. You can feel guilty and inadequate at first. I should have been praying and reading scripture already, you think. I don't do this right. Other people do it better.

But prayer's what you're created to do. You are naturally good at it -- God made you that way. Soon you don't care what other people do, how long they've been doing it, whether they're better at it than you are. Soon you just love it for its own sake. Soon you hardly remember what made you feel guilty about it.

If you have trouble with the word "discipline," you won't later on -- not after you get going in a routine that blesses you. In the meantime, use the word "practice." It's the same thing.


Today's eMo is the introduction to Volume III of Let Us Bless the Lord: Meditations on the Daily Office, Advent to Holy Week, which will be published by Morehouse in time for the first Sunday of Advent. Volumes I and II which provide a meditation for every day until then, are available now from
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