Spiritual Routines

Submitted by FatherAthanasios on Sat, 12/04/2021 - 09:12

Everyone has a daily routine. No matter how detailed, everyone tends to live a life of patterns. These patterns get us through the normal day-to-day responsibilities with peace of mind that we haven’t forgotten something important. For some, these patterns become obsessions, but for the most part, a life of routine is a normal part of life.

The Church, long before Christ, established such a daily pattern for our spiritual life. Morning prayers, evening prayers, and prayers at appointed times of the day. These “Hours of Prayer” as we even read of them in the Holy Scriptures help us to remain focused, so we don’t forget something important along the way to our daily chores.

Just as morning routines make sure we don’t forget to brush our teeth, our daily spiritual routines help us remember to take time to talk to God, not just when we ‘happen to remember’ but all the time. It is a natural human condition to get wrapped up in our chores as the minutes turn to hours, which is why even chores get broken into routines. It is why some factories use loud whistles, so their employees know top take a break for lunch. Without the whistles, workers would work straight through the day, which is not only dangerous, but also not healthy.

It one reason Churches have bells. Throughout the day, churches ring the bells to indicate services have started. The bells serve to remind us to get to the church, or at least turn our attention toward God. Without church bells, we may never make it to the church for prayer…at least in the old days before smart phone alarms.

As part of my morning routine, I like to blog. If you don’t see a new blog in the morning, it is most likely because I have services in the Cathedral and must leave the house early. After my morning prayers, which includes ‘trimming’ the wick on our home altar kandyli, I sit don’t with my coffee and blog after reading the scriptures readings for the day.

It was the Gospel reading for today that inspired a blog about routines. Today is the Feast of Saint Barbara the Great Martyr, and the Church has an appointed reading for women martyrs to be read at the liturgy. Seeing the reading reminded me of so many blessed routines within the life of the Church far beyond fasting days and feasting days. There are patterns for the Scriptures readings, patterns for prayers, patterns for services, and even patterns for architecture.

If your daily routine doesn’t include time for prayer and God, ask your spiritual father to help you establish a new routine. Forgetting to brush your teeth will just leave you with bad breath for a day. Forgetting to pray will leave you disconnected to God. By the way....here's the reading for today.

At that time, a great crowd followed Jesus and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well." And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, "Who touched my garments?" And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, 'Who touched me?'" And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease." – Mark 5.24-34

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.