The Apostolate of the Laity

Waxing philosophical in communion with one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.

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Location: Portland, Oregon, United States

I am just a sinner who holds fast to the notion that every human being on the planet is the result of a thought of God.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Showering with Prayer

I have a confession to make. One that I dare say may make the faint of heart a little dizzy. Okay, here it goes...

I pray the rosary in the shower.

Okay before you puritanical types get on my back, let me make my case. You see I live a very busy life. I work in sales and marketing for one thing. I tried praying on the commuter train into work, but it's so dang distracting to be in the middle of a good prayer only to be interrupted by the recorded voice telling folks that "in the priority seating area you are required to move for seniors and riders with disabilities." The fact that such a message is even necessary is a whole other issue, but it is hard to focus on the task of praying with that message along with the mundane, "the doors are closing."

More often than not, I have something going on a given night of the week. Finding time to pray is just difficult. I get home; try to connect with my wife; try to figure out dinner; the dog needs to be run. My dog is half Golden Retriever and half German Shepherd. She has to run everyday or she gets downright unpleasant.

Now I do get awakened just about every morning at 3am to pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet. I don't know why? Christ hasn't been that specific with me. I just know that I wake up nearly every morning at that time. Rather than fight it I go with it and say my prayers. But soon I fall back to sleep. I also try to attend daily mass on my lunch hour, but that's not always possible.

I was searching for a time when I could consistently just be alone in prayer without any distractions. One day I just spontaneously started praying the rosary while I was taking my shower. Think about it. What do you really think about when you're taking a shower? I doubt it's "lather, rinse, repeat." No, you think about your day ahead; what you saw on TV; how that spider in the corner of the room never seems to move; all sorts of things. I just figured why not use this free time that requires very little mental acuity for something more holy.

So I've sort of fallen into a routine in the morning. Turn on the water and begin the Apostles Creed. Pull the handle on the shower and I start the introductory Our Father, Hail Mary's, and Glory Be's. Now I don't pray the whole rosary in the shower as I would soon run out of hot water. I get in a couple of decades while I lather up; wash my hair; and rinse off; the third decade while I shave; the fourth while I Sonicare my teeth; the fifth while I put on my clothes. The final prayers are said with no distractions. Finish the whole thing off with the St. Michael prayer, and I emerge from the bathroom ready to face my day.

Laugh if you must, but I must say I find it very refreshing to cleanse my body while I'm working on the soul. As a bonus, this time of prayer also helps to remove one of the near occasions of sin that we men sometimes face in the shower, but I won't go into details, though I understand this temptation isn't limited to men alone. Also, no praying gets done on the throne. I'm not completely devoid of good taste, and let's face it, some days a different kind of religious experience in itself happens there.

1Thes 5:17 implores us to pray constantly. What better way to help this command along then to take those more routine parts of our day and fill them with prayer. Why not let the waters of the shower remind us of the waters of our baptism and rejoice in our love of the Lord with fruitful prayer? True, it's probably not the height of piety, but it is one more way to come to Christ as a child.

That can't be all that bad.

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