Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A new use for your kitchen timer--stay recollected

One problem that I have--and I imagine that others do too--is that I find it hard to stay recollected. It is difficult, in the press of daily life, to remember to keep lifting my mind and heart to God. I want to--but I just forget... I am busy! Here is where a kitchen timer comes in handy. You can keep setting it for any unit of time that is useful for you--and its ringing reminds you to say another quick prayer. These prayers may be very short ones indeed--maybe just "Help!" Or we may need to ask, over and over, for patience, or cheerfulness, or light, or the strength to carry some cross that God has given us. Or it may be a quick but heart-felt "Thank you, Lord!"

But whatever the prayers we need to say, it is good to be reminded to say them. Often.

And when you aren't hanging around the kitchen, and you need to leave your little black hen at home, try carrying a watch that beeps on the hour. That works well too. No one else notices--but you are reminded.

A further thought on all this (inspired by the useful comment of Anonymous, below). Monks and nuns have followed the Liturgical Hours for centuries: the Offices, from Matins (very early in the morning) through Compline (in the evening), punctuated their day, with fixed times for prayer. Generally, a bell called them to prayer. Many of us today are lucky to grab what we might call Liturgical Moments; they are short, to be sure, but they are still good! Even in the midst of a conversation, we can typically take off that milli-second to raise our thoughts to God. I just wish I could program my cellphone to (discretely) ring the Angelus...


  1. At first reading my reaction was - do we *really* need this? To be reminded to say a quick prayer by a kitchen timer or a watch?? But then the idea became clearer: we use gadgets of all kinds to remind us not to forget tasks and chores of/in our daily lives, or at work... And indeed we forget to say prayers until evening, and then some are too tired and fall asleep before reaching "Thy will be done". So, yes, a great idea! Stay recollected and connected to the Lord (and to your inner self)!

  2. What a wonderfully helpful post! And something so easy to start doing today- and new Lenten resolution!

  3. Thank you. It wasn't just your suggestion that was very helpful but also its insightful commentary.

  4. What an innovative and fun way to balance work and otium, regular daily chores and prayer or "liturgical moments" as you call them!