Tending Joy for Monday, March 4

The Jews then said to [Jesus], “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body.

John 2:18-21

Pray: with your body

Jesus’ words remind us that bodies are an important part of faith. Prayer that attends to the body may help us recognize how stress affects and shapes us. Today, begin your prayer by paying attention to your body. Locate sources of tension and stress. Where does your body hold tension? What parts of your body feel painful? What is the source of this pain and how do you compensate for it?

As you continue your prayer, consider: how does your body contribute to a sense of captivity? Do you feel controlled by your body? Limited by it?

Take a moment to inhale and exhale, noticing how your body feels right now.

Now open your hands, palms up, and pray the following questions, taking a deep breath between each one. Feel your breath expanding your ribs and your belly. Pay attention to your body and leave space for God:

What would have to change for my body to feel free?

How has my body been a source of strength in the past?

What helps me stretch beyond the limitations I feel?

What gives my body joy?