I always hint a bit about my work…mostly the ways it wears on me and leaves things sticking to me like burrs. In recent weeks, I lost another priest to parish conflict (bleh) but was re-acquainted with a priest I knew from my days at St. John’s. He’s a former police officer and bomb squad member so he’s kinda been there, done that.
During confession, yet one more time, I talked about my struggles with anger and just generally being a crappy person and Fr. George offered up the best advice–praying the Jesus Prayer on the way to work.
So for the past few weeks I’ve shut off my NPR and my CD’s and been saying, out loud, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
I cannot adequately describe what a difference it has made, just on my mindset. And that’s what Orthodoxy is about–changing me. Making me like Jesus. And if you want to get your mind off what everyone else is doing, put it on what you yourself need, everyday: Salvation, mercy, grace. Praying the prayer that has been prayed by others in the exact same mindset, struggling with the exact same things allows me to not worry about my words, or coming up with something nice to say to God, but instead to focus on what needs to be done. The prayer recognizes the position of Christ, the saving work of Christ and my constant need to submit myself to Him and what He wants for me.
So for the foreseeable future I won’t be catching up with the BBC. I’ll be throwing myself at the feet of my Savior, keeping things in proper perspective.