Prayer in Time of Crisis

Prayer in Time of Crisis

by Father Columba

Despite the fact that we are in lockdown, the monks continue to pray here at Mepkin. Seven times a day we gather in the church, and during that time we especially remember our friends who can no longer join us here in the monastery because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These uncertain times offer everyone the opportunity to spend more time in prayer. Technology can be a part of that with resources for your computer, tablet or phone, such as these:

The Divine Office-There is a wonderful app called Universalis, which contains all the Offices of the day. The app is free, but for a few extra dollars you can have an audio of the Office as an in-app purchase. It’s very well laid out and gives you the opportunity to pray this ancient form of Christian prayer. In addition, here at Mepkin, at our early morning Vigils, we have a daily inspiration reading. You can access that here on our website. Go to “Who we Are” on the menu, and under wisdom, you will see “Daily Vigil Readings.” Join us!

Meditation-All monks spend time each day in meditation. Personally, I meditate for twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes in the evening. The form I use is of Christian Meditation. I use a mantra, “Maranatha,” a word divided into four syllables, “MA-RA-NA-THA.” Each session, morning and evening, is twenty minutes. There are two excellent videos on YouTube which offer an introduction to this form of prayer. “What is Meditation,” by Fr. Father Lawrence Freeman (90 minutes) and “Meditate with Father Lawrence, a Google Talk” (55 minutes). You might find this a useful way to pray.

Lectio Divina- This is the traditional monastic prayer of scripture reading. You read, you meditate, you pray, and you contemplate. A good introduction to Lectio Divina is “Lectio Divina: A Beginner’s Guide by Busted Halo.” This is an article by Elizabeth Manneh on Lectio Divina. You can use the Universalis website to pray the readings of the mass of the particular day, or of course, you can pick a passage from your Bible.

Online Eucharist-Many parish churches are now livestreaming their liturgies. It is a good way to keep in touch with the Eucharist. If you would like a monastic liturgy, could I be very nationalistic and suggest the monastic mass from Glenstal Abbey? Glenstal is a Benedictine monastery in the southwest of Ireland. They livestream the Eucharist at 8:10 am, EST (there is a four-hour time difference with Ireland). It’s very beautiful, and they also livestream the Divine Office. The Eucharist remains on the site for the rest of the day so that you can watch it at a different time.

Please be assured that we in Mepkin, though isolated, are praying daily for everyone at this difficult time.