This past winter arguably has been one of the most difficult and
longest-running weather epics we've seen in quite some time. With
all the news and noise about weather and challenges to families and
kids in school, I find it appropriate to speak about how this
phenomenon has been a beautiful opportunity to reconnect to
Benedictine spirituality and prayer.
Being a rather young man at 33, becoming an oblate of Saint
Meinrad was a rather delicate process of juggling life, time and my
family life, which has grown and changed considerably since my
oblation in 2012. Prayer, time for reflection and just simple
sounds of silence can all seem impossible in our daily lives that
zip along at light speed, particularly with a new and growing
I also travel for a living so I am on the go quite a bit, and my
oblation is truly dedicated to finding moments of peace to slow
down and appreciate the small stuff, even when that can be a
But in all the hustle and bustle, God reached out in the most
unusual of ways and afforded me some time courtesy of the Polar
Vortex. I don't mean to make light of high energy bills and frigid
temperatures, but the deep "freeze" has left me and many others
with some cabin fever.
The solution: finally, some time for prayer and reflection! The
business of life never ceases. And with a four-month-old, sleep is
in short supply, to boot. However, being figuratively trapped at
home has given me an extreme enthusiasm for some time spent in
To that end, Saint Meinrad does a fabulous job of enriching
oblate life with many tools to assist us in our journey through
faith. Books, websites and social media have really branched out in
the past year and given us, now more than ever, no excuse not to
squeeze in even the smallest amount of time each day to give
appreciation and gratitude to God and to live out our spirituality
in the best way our life circumstances permit.
While it may sound like a shameless plug, the Honor Your Inner
Monk App has practically saved me! This may be the "lite" version
of our oblate Liturgy of the Hours, but with a family, no sleep, a
job with travel, time is not only a premium but short in supply
The app has practically revolutionized my ability to keep in
rhythm during the day, and has assisted in grounding me back into
reality. With seemingly unending features, I can literally pray on
the go and feel my connection blossom even in the shortest amounts
of time, despite my current life situation.
If you haven't taken the time to download the app or can
commiserate with my circumstances in your own way, here is a
beautiful way to spend some time with the Lord.
This Polar Vortex may have afforded some quality time at home
and given us some time spent together as a family, but it has also
reignited my oblation. It's given me the unique chance to
reconnect, to keep the rhythm and to reflect on time (although
short) well spent.
Editor's note: You can find the free Honor Your Inner Monk
prayer app (for Android and iPhone) at this link: www.honoryourinnermonk.org.