The longing. The waiting. The ardent desire for something to fulfill a void. Perk.a.tory is a play on the word, "purgatory." Purgatory is defined by the Catechism of the Catholic Church as being "purification." (CCC 1030)Purgatory is a purification process that a soul goes through if they are imperfect or unclean, because nothing unclean and imperfect can enter through the gates of Heaven. It is during this purification process that a soul is purified- which will create a longing to be united with Christ in Heaven. Only Christ can fulfill the voids left within our soul.
Perk.a.tory is a little less severe, but it is still involves a longing and waiting for something to fill a void- that something is that early morning, fresh pot of brewed coffee that will add a pep to your step and fill you with warmth. It is during the groggy moments of my day that my best theological contemplations occur. However, does coffee replace Jesus Christ? No. No, it does not.
In today's world, people have ardently searched for "things" to fill the void in their life. These many "things" have started to distract us from a contemplative prayer life with Christ. These "things" are devices, television, movies, toys, etc. The "things" cannot replace Christ. Set down the devices and turn off the t.v. What are you left with? Time. Time that is best used in prayer. Contemplative and meditative prayer is best, but sometimes life demands us to multi-task. So, while you are folding clothes or stuck in your car during rush hour, pray. Our Lady of Fatima teaches us to "pray without ceasing." When you are blessed to discover a few minutes of quiet time in your day, grab your rosary. Start with praying one decade, then add another and another. Before you know it, you will have prayed the entire rosary- in less than 15 minutes.
As an exceptionally busy woman, I find time to pray the Rosary at the beginning of a school day. Thankfully, I am blessed to work at a Catholic elementary school and my students think it's fantastic that I walk through the hallways holding and praying a rosary for our school. Think of the example that this sets?! We have the power to teach our children to carry a rosary and to PRAY the Rosary - in public! Imagine the power of prayer if we could get more and more people to do this! I also find time to pray the rosary during lunch. I get a 30 minute lunch break- and I only need 15 minutes to eat. Basic math teaches us that 30-15= 15. That's exactly how much time it takes to pray a rosary! I've also been known to pray a rosary before bed at night; but truthfully, I am usually asleep by the end of the first decade.
Yes, there are many "things" that will distract us from our prayer relationship with Jesus. But if we can weed out the "things" and set aside some "Jesus Time," then we will receive many graces and a heart on fire for the love of Christ. The prayer relationship with Jesus is just that- a relationship. Relationships take work. They take steadfast commitment. Let us focus on nurturing our relationship with Christ. For it is only the love and joy of the Light of Christ that can truly fill the voids in our life.
"Prayer is the oxygen of the soul." - Saint Padre Pio