I realize for most normal people, 6:15 isn’t early. But for me, at least for the last few months, 6:15 is quite early. I set my alarm for 6:45, and truth be told, I didn’t get out of bed until the radio went off. But at 6:15, for no reason whatsoever, I woke up. I listened to the stillness of the world through my open window. In the distance a dog barked, but other than that, it was silent. No road noise, no construction, no airplanes, just peaceful stillness. I believe that God woke me early, and granted me that silence.
Once I got out of bed, I fired up my iPhone almost immediately. This morning, however, instead of facebook, I opened iBreviary to pray through the office of readings.
I think I expected to feel a rush of spirituality overtake me. It didn’t happen. I had to muscle through each word, like my daughter muscles through her peas. It wasn’t that I despised it, but it was early. This is much the same way I feel when on an extended fast. All of the spiritual benefit comes afterward. I knew that it must happen, that it was important, but I felt no closer to God in that moment, than I did in my bed. Perhaps this is why daily devotion has always been hard for me.
I’ve had many Catholics compare me to some of the great Catholic converts like Scott Hahn or Jimmy Akin or Tim Staples, but I don’t feel like I come close. I love theology, but I don’t breathe it or know it like they do. I feel intellectually inferior to those giants of Faith. And I waffle between a deep passion for serving the Church, and an uncertainty as to whether I know enough to be of any use.
But, even though I may be behind, even they had to walk one day at a time. And so, today I woke up and prayed through the office of readings. It is day 1.
Lord, + open my lips. And my mouth will proclaim your praise