INTRODUCTION AND NOTE
This article was submitted as a comment, but it’s good enough and long enough to be posted in its own right. I’ve omitted some of Kevin’s kind remarks, but left his insights on prayer and quiet times. Many thanks, Kevin.
THE IMPORTANCE OF QUIET TIMES
Some things that come to mind for me on reading your Post:
I used to recite Compline (with a Priest) I became friends with, and it was often Tuesday evenings up at the Parish of Holy Innocents, Croydon over a decade ago. The Scripture was from 1 Peter 5:8:
“Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent, the devil, is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour.”
How important it is for me to have regular quiet times morning and evening. In practice, this usually only happens in the morning for me, and I struggle in the evening. However, I always pray both morning and evening. The ‘quiet time’ I am referring to is Christian Meditation as per the John Main OSB tradition [silence, simplicity, stillness]. Of immeasurable value, because we live in a very distracted world; I have heard it said that the average person has around 60,000 thoughts pass through the mind on any given day. If we are not, it is difficult, if not impossible, to examine?
Being ‘shattered of mind’ is a type of insanity; it is Satan’s tool to “shake our foundation” and make sin or sinful thoughts easier to enter.
SOME OTHER THOUGHTS
The recommendation to keep a record is a good challenge!
For several years, I have been active in a Scripture Group, which uses the SOAP method. [Scripture, observation, application, Prayer]. Much of the effectiveness is related to how vulnerable men in the group allow themselves to be in their sharing. Sharing is naturally limited and usually focused on topic matters. Others in recovery will open up more because they need to recover. BrokeNness has a way of disabling ‘masks’. However, it is really ‘Ourself, God and Another Human Being’ that we need to admit everything!
That ‘second way’ which you referred to reminded me of the AA recommendation:” If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame” [p. 84 BB], which is excellent advice because the longer we harbour something in our minds the more chance it is to become a reality. Hence the Catholic Prayer,
“Jesus, though the Most Pure Heart of Mary,
I offer You my thoughts, words, deeds, actions, and sufferings of this day,
For all the intentions of Your Divine Heart.
Bob, none of us are “assiduous students” in my book.
What you have done by posting this is cause me to know more about the Spiritual Exercises, and I will commit to using a small notebook to work such for three months (you know what they say about ’90 in 90′)!
St Ignatius had lots of time in hospital to write out stuff, our challenge is to dedicate time in our “busy” lives, and then act on the commitment.