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Where Do you Go to Find God?

As I settle into a new rectory, I look to shape the space in which I will pray. This rectory has enough rooms that I am able to dedicate a whole room to prayer and God. Many people may not have that much space. If this is the case for you, I recommend finding a corner or an end of a room as a space for God. In the last rectory I lived in I created a little shrine depicted in the picture below.

Whether you are creating a prayer corner or a whole room, the basic elements are the same. It should certainly have a Crucifix to remind us of how Jesus willingly laid down his life so that our sins might be forgiven (see John 3:16-37, John 15:13). The Crucifix shows us how much Jesus loves us.

A prayer space should also have a Bible. It is God’s Word. We need to read the Bible for it is the story of God’s love for his people even when they sinned (If you need to get a new Bible, I recommend the New American Bible Revised Edition Catholic translation).

A candle can also be an important part of a prayer space. Candles can be used to provide light. In prayer, we also use candles to remind us that Jesus is the light of the world (see John 8:12).

Your prayer space can also include religious artwork with various images of our faith. It might be an image of Mary or another saint who inspires you to follow Jesus. It can include any spiritual writing you use for meditation in your prayer.

Of course, you might use similar religious items throughout your house to remind you that God is everyone. God is in every room in your house.

As God is everywhere, He is also anywhere you go outside. Yet, we might find it easier to be aware of his presence in certain types of places. Having lived almost all of my life (except my time in seminary) in rural areas, it is much easier for me to find God in the woods that downtown in a big city. That doesn’t mean God isn’t present in the big city. He is. In fact, when I was in seminary in Washington, DC, one of the places I would go for a walk to find God was at the national mall where the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, several veterans’ memorials, and some of the Smithsonian museums are located. It is a very busy place with lots of people. Yet, I could go there just to walk out outside and find God. For me, a walk is a great place to find God.

Different people have different styles and things that inspire them in prayer. I know some priests who take an annual retreat at retreat centers located on the ocean because that is where they find God. For me, I like a retreat in a place with woods and hiking trails. Others may find God in a flower garden. It is not a matter of right and wrong. It is for you to find what type of space helps you connect with God.

God is everywhere. Where are you most aware of God’s presence?

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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