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Fitting Prayer Into a Busy Life View Comments
By Linda McCullough Moore

I’VE LONG BEEN a major fan of Carmelite Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection (1614?-1691), who teaches in his book, The Practice of the Presence of God, that we can be in prayer all the time: while we are preparing food, teaching a class, caring for a child. Think of it as 17th-century multitasking.

But two years ago I learned some new facts about this same Brother Lawrence who practiced God’s presence: He also participated in formal, liturgical, corporate prayer eight times a day—eight times, every day. And then, he prayed without ceasing.

I began wondering why my experience of prayer was not more like the one he described. It’s like having been given a cake recipe that left out the part about turning on the oven.

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Linda McCullough Moore is the author of The Distance Between (Soho Press), as well as some 300 stories and essays. She also teaches creative writing in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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Joan of Arc: 
		<p>Burned at the stake as a heretic after a politically-motivated trial, Joan was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920.</p>
		<p>Born of a fairly well-to-do peasant couple in Domremy-Greux (southeast of Paris), Joan was only 12 when she experienced a vision and heard voices that she later identified as Sts. Michael the Archangel, Catherine of Alexandria, and Margaret of Antioch.</p>
		<p>During the Hundred Years War, she led French troops against the English and recaptured the cities of Orléans and Troyes. This enabled Charles VII to be crowned as king in Reims in 1429. Captured near Compiegne the following year, she was sold to the English and placed on trial for heresy and witchcraft. Professors at the University of Paris supported Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvis, the judge at her trial; Cardinal Henry Beaufort of Winchester, England, participated in the questioning of Joan in prison. In the end, she was condemned for wearing men's clothes. The English resented France's military success–to which Joan contributed. </p>
		<p>On this day in 1431, she was burned at the stake in Rouen, and her ashes were scattered in the Seine River. A second Church trial 25 years later nullified the earlier verdict, which was reached under political pressure.</p>
		<p>Remembered by most people for her military exploits, Joan had a great love for the sacraments, which strengthened her compassion toward the poor. Popular devotion to her increased greatly in 19th-century France and later among French soldiers during World War I. Theologian George Tavard writes that her life "offers a perfect example of the conjunction of contemplation and action" because her spiritual insight is that there should be a "unity of heaven and earth."</p>
		<p>Joan of Arc has been the subject of many books, plays, operas, and movies. </p>
American Catholic Blog A surfer becomes a better surfer as he spends more time in the water and learns from his friends and experiences how to improve. It is so with the virtues too. They’re actionable—which means our ability to pursue the good improves with practice!

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