We all have a way of giving physical spaces certain designations. The gym is the place where we work out. The library is where we read. The Parish is where we pray. While certainly those activities are all appropriate for those locations, we should still try to get a broader view of them. We can work out in our neighborhood, we can read at home, we can pray where we are.
While it isn’t strictly necessary to reserve a certain activity for a certain location, it can have clear benefits.
A few years ago, our Parish was replacing the confessional chairs. The chairs that they had were designed to go in a corner, were very ornate, and well crafted. They were, however, uncomfortable for our priests who had to sit in them for long periods of time.
They had four chairs. My mom bought two of them, my sister bought one, and I bought one. My sister is going to use it in the future for the “trouble chair” for her kids. I have mine in my bedroom as my prayer corner.
A few months ago, I setup a nice prayer corner in my room. It’s set apart, and I know that whenever I go there, I need to get into a prayerful mindset. The physical space, though small, conveys a sense of prayerfulness, a sense of the presence of God.
There are certain elements that give our mind cues as to the types of activities it should prepare for. The costume of workout clothes can help you better focus on your exercise and the pre-bed routine can start your brain getting ready for bed. In the same way, a prayer corner can get you to mentally prepare for prayer.
By setting aside a separate, holy space solely for prayer, you can have a higher quality daily prayer experience.
- A prayer corner can set your mental frame of mind. If the only thing you do in your prayer corner is pray, your mind will eventually get the message. Over time, you’ll find yourself getting more and more quality prayer time because your mind will turn off non-prayer thoughts in that space.
- Allows for easier storage of prayer material. There are a lot of chotskies in the Catholic faith. The problem is that they end up everywhere and must be disposed of in a specific manner. By setting up a prayer corner, you can have a place to store all of your prayer material. Your Bible, a rosary, and whatever else you use to pray is in one convenient, out of the way place.
- It creates a great place of silence. We all know that we live in a loud, busy world and that we should spend more time in silence. It can be difficult to fit that quiet time into our schedule, so we usually fall short. By creating a prayer corner with strict no-technology rules, you can better achieve this goal.
A prayer corner doesn’t have to be much. A chair, an end table and a lamp is really all it takes. Consider setting up a prayer corner in your home where you and your wife can get away from the world and rest awhile.