Praying with our Hands

Monday in Holy Week   10th April

Jeremiah 18:2
Arise, go down to the potter’s house,
and there you will hear my words.

Art, be it a painting, a sculpture, a poem
or any form of handicraft made by loving skill,
embodies the deep faith and devotion
expressed in the personal sensitivity of the artists.
– Pope John Paul 11

A way I love to pray is by using my limited creative gifts.
I sometimes write prayers or blessings; sometimes reflections.
These reflections on prayer throughout Lent
have been for me a form of prayer,
I have simply spent a little while in quiet prayer
before writing each reflection and offered it to God.
We can do that with any creative thing we do:
photography, painting, flower arranging, gardening,
making cards, knitting, sewing, or other crafts.
I also love to make prayer beads
that I give to people as an aid to prayer
or as a symbol of God’s presence with them.
Again, before I begin to make them
I keep a short time of silence and offer a prayer
that God will bless those who use them
and that they may have a sense
of God’s loving presence with them.
Making something that we love to do a time of prayer
is a very powerful way of entering God’s presence.


Thomas Merton writes:
Learn how to pray and meditate on paper.
Drawing and writing are forms of prayer.
Learn how to contemplate works of art.
Learn how to pray in the streets or in the country.
Know how to mediate
not only when you have a book in your hand,
but when you are waiting for a bus or riding on a train.
Let the rhythm of prayer works its way
into your body and soul