What is it about a blank page that makes my mind go blank? I think of so many things to publish here when I’m NOT sitting here trying to get my blog entry done on time!!
Yes, I keep a folder full of “ideas,” and I have some sites bookmarked for memes and things, but none of them look “right” for tonight.
It is a little over 1/2 way through Great Lent, and everything is a struggle. I’m hungry all the time. I’m thirsty all the time. I’m antsy, can’s settle down to pray. It’s just awful. About all I can do is pull out my beautiful new chotki (prayer rope) and say some knots of Jesus Prayers. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
I wear my chotki on my left wrist. Each time the cross-tassel flaps against my hand, I try to remember to say a Jesus Prayer. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
This is a 50-knot chotki. There is a sterling silver bead half-way through. The change in the bead/knot textures keep me grounded in the here-and-now. Otherwise I would become so buried in the Jesus Prayer that I would not stop. Eventually someone would interrupt me, but this kind of mindless saying of the Jesus Prayer is not what it’s all about. It’s about thinking the prayer, praying the prayer thoughtfully, knowing what you are doing. This is the same reason one should not gaze at an Icon too long – you can “fall into” the Icon and mindlessly be intrigued with it’s beauty or the paint marks. It is in these mindless moments that evil can enter our minds and our hearts. So it is critical to keep our thoughtful faculties sharp, especially when we say the Jesus Prayer or pray before an Icon.
Interesting how contemplating a blank page has led me back to where I should be – at the foot of the Cross. Lent is a hard struggle. Sometimes for those of us who cannot fast “normally” it is even harder than for those who can. But a blank page brought me to where I need to be. Saying my prayers.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.