My mom became Catholic a few years ago. I was fortunate enough to sit in on many of her RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) classes. There was a group of about fifteen catechumens and sponsors and a few extras at each class. (I would even bring my high school kids to a few of the classes.)
Father Reid (a parish priest in Charlotte, NC) would sometimes rely on the sponsors to share a little, and would occasionally ask a spontaneous question of the Catholics in the room.
One of the sessions was about prayer and Father spoke of the importance of finding a good spot to pray regularly. He put me on the spot and asked me where I like to pray.
The question took me by surprise. I actually didn’t really have a favorite place to pray. He reminded everyone that we can pray anywhere, anytime. But he also pointed out that having a specific place—where we can be quiet amidst the noise of life; a place we regularly go to for prayer—can be a huge help in our spiritual life.
At the time I felt like I had a pretty good prayer life. I had incorporated prayers like the Angelus and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy into my daily routine. I tried to examine my day before I fell asleep, and pray when I woke up. But I hadn’t ever had a particular place to pray...a go-to spot where I could be quiet with God.
Further reading: How to Create a Home Prayer Corner in 4 Easy Steps
One morning a few weeks after that class, I returned home from a 7 AM Mass to a quiet house. We had recently rearranged a room in our home to make it a study (adjacent to our “homeschool” room; it had really become just a place for toys and books to pile up) by putting in a few bookshelves.
When I got home from Mass that morning, I sat on the couch in that room to wait for my coffee to brew before everyone else was up. I sat there for a few minutes and a calmness fell over me. I picked up a spiritual book and began to read. I read and prayed for fifteen minutes before I realized that I had found the perfect spot in my home to pray.
My "place for prayer..."
Since then I have placed a crucifix on the wall in front of where I sit and a statue of Mary on top of the bookshelf. I added more spiritual books to the shelves.
I now try to sit in that room as often as I can. I especially love the mornings, when all the house is still. My prayer life has improved tremendously since establishing this regular place to pray. I find myself longing to go there. It's a place where I know I can quiet my mind. Perhaps it is because it is not in view of the kitchen or laundry room, where there is always something to busy myself with; so I can focus, and leave my to-do list behind for a few minutes.
Little did I realize, at that RCIA class, that Father’s question about where I went to pray would be such an important one. I am grateful that he asked.
If you want to learn more about bringing a Christ-centered atmosphere to your home, you'll want to sign up for this series: Catholic at Home.
Do you have a place to pray? Share with us in the comments below!
Looking for some beautiful art for your prayer corner? Here are some of our favorites from the Catholic Company: