Tag Archives: John Sullivan

Building Your Workday Around Prayer: Guest Post by John Sullivan

Monastic life in all faiths is ordered around prayer. Such prayer sets the rhythm for each day. It keeps members focused on the mission of the order and the life of the community, as well as the spiritual life of each member.

I spent 13 years in the Discalced Carmelite monastic order, which traces its origins to hermits living on Mt. Carmel in the 13th century. As is the case with most religious orders, the Discalced Carmelites prayed together at least six times a day on a regular schedule, using Latin names for the hours. These were also known as Canonical hours, because they have been used by all orders in the Roman Catholic Church for many centuries.

As our Muslim friends have so ably demonstrated, prayer can also provide the framework for secular life, including busy workdays. Inspired by what I learned in the monastery and from the example of Muslims, I adapted the canonical hours to my spiritual practices. Continue reading

Prayer of St. Francis — a Model Workday Prayer for All Faiths at Work

If we had to pick just one prayer to fit the needs and gifts in the workplace today, that prayer would probably be The Prayer of St. Francis. Though it is profoundly Christian, the Prayer of St. Francis is quoted and used by people of many faiths. It has been sung beautifully by Sarah Mac Lachlen and set to exquisite photos of love in action in daily life. And though it was probably not written until many years after the death of St. Francis, it definitely expresses his mission that is still so relevant today. Continue reading

Dollar Bill Wisdom

When you are open to it, spiritual wisdom for money and work are everywhere. Comedian Chris Rock once joked that they’d taken God out of the workplace and out of the government. Finally he found God right in his pocket.

This doesn’t have to mean that we worship money. The dollar bill is filled with wisdom that can help us have a better relationship with money, including having more money and a more sustainable, just economy — even in a recession. Continue reading

Disavowing Poverty

Disavowing Poverty Vows

You may never have taken formal, witnessed poverty vows as my husband John did at the age of 19 while he was in a Roman Catholic religious order, but it’s highly likely that you’ve taken some vows of poverty, intentional or otherwise.

Religious poverty vows are prayed over, even blessed. They aren’t a commitment to being homeless, starving or dressing in rags. They are a vow to simplicity, and an everyday willingness not to be attached to money or the things it could buy. The intent is to free members of any concerns about earning, saving or investing money (unless they are taking on financial roles on behalf of the community) so they are free to focus fully on spiritual life. Continue reading