One of the ideas that rolled around in my head (there is lots of room to roll around) is the notion of personalities and prayer. I am part of several prayer groups, some of which pray the Liturgy of the Hours. Whenever there are people present, personalities either clash or mesh, or variations of the above. The point is, when you are singing a Hymn and your fellow participants start out on one level then lose tone by a full note or more, it is frustrating.

Putting up with the little things as you pray can be nerve racking. Over the last three years, I find myself a bit more patient with others’ differences and traits. Here are some that I find irritating. Mind you, I consider all of this part of prayer. I say these, not to criticize anyone but rather to say that all of the little personality quirks are the human dimension of prayer.

  • Lowering the Hymn by at least one full note each time we sing.
  • People not beginning the Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer on time.
  • Not showing up for Rosary or Lay Cistercian discernment group
  • Saying the Rosary fast while other are slow to recite it
  • Singing at Eucharist off key
  • Someone with a raucous clearing of their throat
  • Attending any prayer while sick with the flu or inflecting others with coughing.
  • Someone makes a mistakes in pronunciation
  • Someone who forgets where they are in Liturgy of the Word

These little failings irritate me because I am guilty of all of them myself. What patience and kindness do for any of us is not to ignore that these little failings exist but to do unto others as we would like to be treated (Chapter 4 of the RB). Don’t make an issue of it. It is all prayer.


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