YouTube has a number of channels dedicated to Christian mindfulness. Calming Christian, from Dr. Dre Campbell, is aimed at providing God-centered tools to calm us down and help with symptoms of depression, anxiety and other challenges.
Dr. Dre has been uploading videos of guided prayer to the channel since 2016. His latest is a video specifically aimed at COVID-19 anxiety. It’s linked below.
I bought “The Big Book of Christian Mysticism: The Essential Guide to Contemplative Spirituality” at the Abbey at Gethsemani bookstore during a silent retreat. Honestly, I was worried that it would bore me. The book is, as promised, big and the type is small. I was so wrong.
This is one of the best books I’ve ever read about Christian spirituality. The author, Carl McColman, provides the history, philosophy and practical aspects of the contemplative Christian tradition. The appendices has lists of other books to read and Christians to learn about.
This is very supportive guidebook to growing a practice in this glorious and fulfilling type of Christianity, whether you call it contemplative, mystical mindful Christianity. I highly recommend it, and I expect to read it regularly, much more than once.
There will always be downslides and uncertainty. The goal is to live a full, productive life even with all this ambiguity. No matter what happens, I can control whether I am going to live a day in fear and depression and panic, or whether I am going to attack the day and make it as good a day, as wonderful a day, as I can.
Celebrating Easter Vigil with a Christian mindfulness approach helps the experience to become so much more alive, even during this unique pandemic experience.
We are facing the final illness of a beloved pet, Clarence, in the midst of this quarantine, as well as having a mother-in-law we can’t visit in an assisted living facility that has at least one coronavirus case. It is sad, yet we know that so many other people have it much worse. One benefit of this season is that I have been able to participate more fully in Lent and Holy Week than usual. The Lord is speaking to my heart.
Today He reminds me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). If we mindfully abide in Christ, he gives us the strength we need moment by moment. We need to move forward with our eyes on Him.
Today we renew our baptismal vows, decorate for Easter and make our Easter eggs. It is a day that, for more than two millennia, Christians have taken an attitude of watchfulness and prayer.
All-powerful and ever-loving God, your own Son went down among the dead and rose against in glory. In your goodness raise up your faithful people buried with him in baptism, to be one with him, in the eternal life of heaven.
Spend Good Friday with Jesus. Fast during the day, perhaps taking some soup at 11ish. Spend the hours between noon and 3 p.m. in prayer, spiritual reading and meditation before a candle. Blow out the candle at 3 p.m.
Let all my world be silent in your presence, Lord, so that I may hear what the Lord God may say in my heart. Your words are so softly spoken that no one can hear them except in a deep silence. But to hear them lifts him who sits alone and in silence completely above his natural powers, because he who humbles himself will be lifted up. He who sits alone and listens will be raised above himself.
Waking up in the night to think about the pandemic is common. It’s also another opportunity to use Christian mindfulness to enjoy the presence of the Lord.
Sleepless nights are a common problem going back to ancient times. David wrote about a solution to them in Psalm 63:6: “On my bed I remember you. I think of you through the watches of the night.”
The Lord has asked us to cast all our anxiety on Him (1 Peter 5:7) so He will support our efforts to turn our nighttime thoughts to Him.
Once you are awake, consciously work to turn your attention to prayer and worship. Listening to a playlist with worship music, either out loud or on ear buds, can help. Thinking through memorized Bible verses about God’s gifts of love, joy and peace can help. Just turning our attention to gratitude about God’s gifts also works.
As a prayer for Holy Week notes:
Through your Son you taught us, Father, not to be fearful of tomorrow but to commit our lives to your care. Do not withhold your Spirit from us but help us to find a life of peace after these days of trouble.
The wonderful people at Jesuit Media Initiatives have added Pray as You Stay to their Pray as You Go website and app. The support series is “aimed to support you during this time of self-isolation, uncertainty and fear, which we are all going through.”
So far, two weeks of prayer reflections have been posted. I’ve been using them in the evening before bed to help calm me down.
Like the daily Pray as You Go, the prayer reflections are between 10 and 13 minutes long, combining music, scripture and reflection. The aim is to help us all become more aware of God’s presence in our lives and to learn to listen to God’s word.