On the Train

Sister Ursula Horan OP
Travelling by train highlights a number of interests, concerns and opportunities. There is a wealth of life experience epitomised here. I’ve observed people catching up on sleep, eating, conversing, working and relaxing.

On boarding a train recently I noticed one person sleeping, another watching a film on her computer whilst she continued with her knitting. All that was missing from this scene was an open fire and a glass of wine, this lady looked so relaxed that she might have been at home.

Another day whilst sitting on the train I heard a lady talking to (I presume) her friend in such a loud tone of voice that everyone could hear the conversation. She was bemoaning her life, getting things off her chest; it could almost have been a group counselling session.

Conducting business on the phone is another occupation which happens regularly. In some instances empty seats are turned into ‘office space’ over which phone, papers and computer are spread and the office work continues oblivious of surroundings.

Other travellers use this time and space in which to pray. Sometimes this is obvious at others it is only known to the traveller. Praying, meditating is a good way to start the day. None of us knows what we will need to face in the course of the day; I believe that starting the day with a prayer can be a source of strength and courage. Sometimes people question whether time spent in prayer is “lost” time, or even a waste of time? It’s neither. It is a time which is well spent; prayer is a source from which we can derive peace, tranquillity and enrichment in our lives.

Let us pray: Lord God in the midst of life with all of its joys, delights, sorrows and anxieties, dreariness, boredom and stress help us to turn to you and accept the gifts of courage and acceptance, hope and peace. Help us to become more aware that you are a compassionate loving God who gave us the gift of life itself.

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