The other day on Facebook I was confronted by this quote on my wall:

“You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.”
� G.K. Chesterton

I’ve been trying for a while now to remember to be prayerful, mindful when I sit down at the computer. I’ve toyed with various ideas of how to remind myself. Nothing worked. But when I read this Chesterton quote something clicked. I knew exactly what to do to remind myself to say grace before I used my computer. I went and found a sharpie and wrote one word on the top of my computer screen: Grace.

Later that day Dom saw it and was a bit shocked that I had written on my computer with permanent marker.

I haven’t settled on a particular prayer. Nothing set like the grace before meals. Often I just cross myself and perhaps repeat the phrases that begin every hour of the Liturgy of the Hours: God, come to my assistance. Lord, make hast to help me. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen Sometimes I ask for God’s guidance, for my work to honor him and to bless the people I am connecting with online. Sometimes it’s more a sort of help or a wordless being in God’s presence.

Even with the reminder I don’t always remember, or always choose to pause. But on the whole I feel like I am more mindful, more apt to be prayerful. I’ve found myself less apt to be sucked into Facebook and Twitter and clicking through to blogs. (I can’t remember was it Jennifer at Conversion Diary who compared it to being at a slot machine, that quest for immediate gratification? Yes. It was number 17 in this list.)

And sometimes I remember to pray and find my time of the computer becomes fruitful indeed.

I later added a few additional embellishments, as you can see. I’m not exactly sure why but I just felt they were the right things to write.

They aren’t the prettiest reminders but they work for me. And I do find there’s a bit more room for grace to slip in.

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  • Hi!  I clicked over from Joy Beyond the Cross, when I saw someone had chosen to write on perfectionism.  Thank you for musing ‘aloud’ here! 

    I’ve thought a bit about my overeagerness for perfection, and have had the chance to muse on it with friends now and then.  I’ve been allowed to see that choosing to pursue perfection at too great a cost and/or in too many arenas simultaneously takes my eyes off the Lord, and points me….not towards Him.  I’ve also learned (well:  I can finally say it without being reminded first; my heart is still learning this) that He doesn’t care where my actions/decisions/efforts fall on the perfection map a fraction as much as He cares that He and I are talking about whatever’s going on. 

    I quit calling myself a perfectionist several years ago because even though I have those tendencies, that’s not who I really am.  But, because I’m still struggling with receiving His mercy and love (and NOT earning it w/ my perfect (coff, coff) ways), I call myself ‘a recovering perfectionist.’  Reminds me that one day—ONE DAY! smile—I’ll be over this snag.

    I think you’re right on when you say, “I think I need to spend more time asking Him and listening to His answers;” and I think that because what matters more than my motive/s, choices, actions, etc. is my relationship with Him, and how much I let Him be part of everything in my life/heart.  E.g., Uh-oh, here I am, trying to get something *just right* again, and either accomplishing that at great cost, or failing at it….He’s not so much interested in me being successful as He is in me asking/letting Him to be in the endeavor with me.

    I’m so glad He has a different way for me to live!  And glad that he’s more interested in me than in me doing x, y, or z perfectly.  Phew!

    Anyhow, thanks for your reflections.

    And thank you, too, for posting those marvelous pictures your daughter took.  I really enjoyed seeing what part of the world looks like from her perspective!