Statio is “the practice of stopping one thing before we begin another. …the time between times. …In monastic spirituality it is common for the community to gather … for a few minutes together in the chapel itself before intoning the opening hymn of the office. My novice mistress, in fact, insisted that we all be in chapel five minutes before the bell rang for prayer, an expectation the logic of which managed to elude me for years. After all, ‘an idle mind is the devil’s workshop,’ the Puritan in me knew well. ‘Every minute counts,’ I’d learned somewhere along the way. …Think of all the things that could have been done in that additional five minutes a day or thirty-five minutes a week or two hours and twenty minutes a month or twenty-eight hours a year…. Work, valuable work, could have been done and I could still have made it on time for prayer. It took years to realize that [it was] … highly unlikely, though, that my mind would have been there too. The practice of statio is meant to center us and make us conscious of what we’re about to do and make us present to the God who is present to us. Statio is the desire to do consciously what I might otherwise do mechanically. Statio is the virtue of presence. If I am present to this child before I dress her, then the dressing becomes an act of creation. …If I am present to the flower before I cut it, then life becomes precious. If I am present to the time of prayer before I pray, then prayer becomes the juncture of the human with the Divine. We have learned well in our time to go through life nonstop. Now it is time to learn to collect ourselves from time to time so that God can touch us in the most hectic of moments. Statio is the monastic practice that sets out to get our attention before life goes by in one great blur and God becomes an idea out there somewhere rather than an ever present reality here.” Joan Chittister
“You …set me in your presence forever.” Psalm 41:12
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Imagine pausing to commit the last thing to God before beginning the next thing.
- Imagine lifting up the next thing to God before you begin it.
- Imagine the sanity, clarity and sense of God’s presence that could come from this practice.
Abba, help me to regularly come to a full stop, recalibrating, increasingly present to you.
For More: Wisdom Distilled From the Daily by Joan Chittister
In “Daily Riches” my goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)