05 April: Praxis Journal, Day Five

Acadia National Park’s Jesup Path in the fall is someplace I’d really like to be right now, but that’s a whole other post.

In many ways, today was a failure, yet I feel fairly content, perhaps even joyful. Let me explain:

Unlike the previous days, I didn’t have as many slips of the Divine Name today. It was nice to feel like I was making progress in some way, actually absorbing and learning what I was doing instead of remaining on the same level out of laziness. I am especially proud for having avoided the three-letter word in choir today. We’re singing Mozart’s Requiem for our next concert, and, if you don’t know, that song has many repetitions of the Name in Latin. My favorite substitute is still “Lord,” but I also find great enjoyment and comfort in “O Merciful One,” especially with this being the Year of Mercy and all. I wonder now if Jacobs actually followed this observance in his biblical year and simply broke it for writing his book or if he just ignored it in general.

Also unlike the previous days, I completely forgot about thanking the Lord after meals until a few hours after both lunch and dinner. This is really frustrating on many levels, because I only have two-and-a-half days left of observing these practices. I don’t know what I have to do to remember; stick the Ten Commandments on my hand or forehead, maybe? I am a person who likes to do many things and do them all well, so this glaring failure is quite upsetting.

My midnight prayer last night was a bust, as well. I climbed out of bed, turned off my alarm, said a prayer of maybe ten seconds, then crawled back under the covers. I also happened to completely forget not to eat pork and ate a hot dog – scratch that, two hot dogs – at dinner today.

SERIOUSLY?! I know I can do better (and I want a good grade for this whole assignment, of course), but this week seems to be overflowing even more than others with deadlines, meetings, and assignments. My mind (that is, most of me) apparently just doesn’t want to contain this piddling amount of extra information. I feel like Jacobs enjoyed at least a moderate amount of success in following his huge list of rules and regulations while here I am, forgetting three out of four in one day. It’s a good thing I’m not an Orthodox Jew, I guess.

On the bright side, I did take time for myself last night and today. I even napped for a brief yet wonderful span of minutes. I also did my usual prayer routine in addition to morning prayer and mass, and I had a number of honest and satisfying conversations with friends today. Oh, and I performed my patriotic duty and privilege and voted! I am also glad and thankful that my friends and family are being so supportive with this whole experience. Other than annoying emails from Facebook, I have not had much temptation or interference from social media, and I have had the chance to talk face-to-face (or at least voice-to-voice) with people.

So, on one level, I feel like walking barefoot in the snow (yep, you heard me; it started snowing this evening) while proclaiming my sins to the world, while, on another level, I feel like sitting back and thanking the Heavenly Power for what I did accomplish today. In any case, I know I should always thank and praise the Divine, but I know I need to make my commitments to and memory regarding my practices firmer.

Thankfully, tomorrow might be a good day for doing so. It’s Advisement Day at St. Norbert College, a wonderful time when classes are cancelled and, other than a few appointments with my academic advisors, I do not have to do anything. I hope and pray that that means I can remember to do at least these practices.

Well, that’s the end of this post. May the Lord of life and love be with you all this evening, and may He inspire me to actually pray at midnight and to follow my other observances tomorrow. (Some warmer weather would be nice, too, but I realize that is just a personal preference and not what I really need to pray for right now.) Good night, readers! ~


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