It seems to be one of the unavoidable elements of my life right now (and for the forseeable future) that the vast majority of my waking time is spent at work -- in my case, in an office. And much of the time that I spend not at work is spent in activities that preclude a lot of through: trying to keep the kids under control, making meals, cleaning up, doing yard work, chores, etc. I typically get home around 6-7pm and often have a bit more work (usually phone calls) to clean up. Then dinner and kid time and bed time and by the time MrsDarwin and I sit down to contemplate adult activities such as reading, writing or conversation without interruption, it's definately after 9pm.
Thus we seem to find ourselves, much of the time, having a family prayer life that consists almost entirely of "with the kids" activities: mass with the kids, grace with the kids, bedtime prayers with the kids, bible stories with the kids, rosary or chaplet in the car with the kids, etc.
All of which is, of course, good. But once if all of your spiritual is "with the kids" you end up feeling a little stiffled as an adult sometimes. This leads every so often to resolutions on our part to get up early every morning and pray together before the kids get up. But beating the kids up is rather more difficult than beating the sun up, and these always seem to drop off after a while. (The senior Darwins are not morning people.)
Lately I've been wondering if what I need to do is set aside a brief break every day at work (that is, after all, my longest stretch of waking time) to go off and catch some prayer or spiritual reading time. Which leaves, of course, the question of what to do with that time. Say an hour of the Divine Office? The liturgy of the hours is available online through Universalis. However, I must admit that reading prayers off a computer screen just doesn't seem very prayerful.
We just got a subscription to Magnificat (first issue hasn't arrived yet) so perhaps that will seem like the right sort of thing. Or maybe I need to buy a compact copy of the Bible (ours are all pretty large), though I'm thinking I want something a little more directed than just working through selected books.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
The cruelest month, a few days early
4 hours ago