As I walk the camino – and as I prepare to – I'll be keeping my own, simple times of prayer. Set-hour prayer is something relatively unfamiliar to me; my own tradition values extempore prayer. While this can easily, and often does, become little more than 'making it up as you go along,' ignoring the vast riches of the church's history of prayer, it can also be an occasion for virtuosic – even inspired – improvisation.
But, the choice between heartfelt, impromptu prayer and thoughtful, learned prayer represents a false dichotomy. Alongside improv, many musicians train on scales and also know the classics by heart. Tomorrow I'll be posting four 'standards' from the scriptures that I hope to learn by heart in English and in Spanish as I journey. Perhaps, whether in either language, or both, this is a part of my journey that you will be able to share with me?