To my delight, today has been more prayerful than usual. It started with a nice Contemplative Eucharist with a few other souls and then moved into Mattins by myself. When all was said and done I had passed about two hours in prayer and meditation without hardly noticing the time. It was one of those times in prayer where I was receiving the "Consolation of the Holy Spirit" as one the great masters said--i.e., I was feeling the presence of God and feeling warm and fuzzy as a result. Alas, this is not something to grasp a hold of or rely upon--the Holy Spirit has a mind of Her own and these kinds of prayer experiences come and go like the wind. I suppose the analogy is that when you are walking to the mailbox to send or receive mail sometimes the walk is more pleasant than at other times. But although you may linger in your walk to the mailbox to look at the pretty spring flowers by the side of the driveway or hurry past snowbanks in the winter, the important thing is that you get the mail!
One curious thing I noticed was during the Prayers of the People. I was holding my mind on a general intention for all the people that I love in the world. As I did so, I became aware that the feeling of my skin was changing, it was like a warmth spread through my skin--very pleasant. Funny how the body responds to prayer; most of the time we are too busy to notice such things.
Lately I've been singing most of the Office, and today was no exception, but this time I did it using the Mattins Office from the OHC Breviary rather than the BAS . Of course, the Breviary Psalter is pointed for chanting, so that made things much easier this morning. Yesterday I used Tone 1.1, so today I went with 1.2 for no particular reason. Just a few years ago chanting the Office by myself would have been very difficult, so now it comes with a nice feeling of accomplishment!
After saying my prayers (and then practicing the Exultet until my voice got tired) I had to do a challenging task. It was easier than I expected, and I couldn't help thinking the mornings prayers had something to do with that. Ah, simple spiritual pleasures!