I am leading an Advent Quiet Day next month for the Arizona Chapter of the Companions of the Holy Cross. They are an organization of women committed to prayer, thanksgiving, and simplicity, and have been in existence for over one hundred years. For many Companions, this is a way they remain accountable for their spiritual practice, and find their identity with other similarly focused people.
I experience similarities between athletics and spiritual practice. They are both endeavors that require regular practice, stretching, and training. And just as there are athletes who excel at individual sports and athletes who excel at team sports, so it is with spiritual practice. No one is truly alone–even individual athletes need supportive communities. There is a tradition of Christian hermits–but they also remained connected to the wider church body.
But temperamentally, some people are more likely to flourish spiritually when they are on a clearly defined team, and others flourish when they can follow their own instincts and need for prayer practice.
Where do you fall on that spectrum of spiritual practice? Are you more of a team player? Or more of an individual? If you’re a team spiritual player–who are your teammates? If you’re an individual, what are the practices and relationships that keep your prayer life in order?
You can learn more about the Companions here.