Contemplative Corner – “The Spiritual Discipline of Statio”

Many spiritual disciplines have been practiced by those who seek intimacy with God throughout the history of Christianity. In the past, these practices were often associated with the monastic life. One such practice is statio. Statio is being where you are supposed to be before you need to go there. It requires getting ready to concentrate on the things of God and to leave behind the distractions of the day. It enables to you to separate yourself from one thing entirely before starting another one.

Statio is practiced by taking a deep breath between things, then going into the next personal encounter centered, quiet, and gathered of mind and heart. It teaches you to enjoy the emptiness of time rather than to fill it with something else. It asks you to be present to your own needs, the needs of others, and trust God to guide you from within.

It is the lack of internal quiet and focus that sends you into confusion of thought and chaos of soul. Instead, statio asks you to take the time to think things over, to think things through, to stop rushing around from one thing to another. Simply being active is not life. The aimless rush of modern culture, unfortunately, can become an excuse to let the hard moments of life go by unattended, unthought out. 

For example, take a sacred moment to know where you are, to think about what you are doing, and to notice those around you. Such moments help you to concentrate on God and through the process of prayer, discover your true self and become who God created you to be. It requires a serious commitment of time and practice so that you are not so busy thinking of the other things of the day, that by the time you finally stop and turn your attention to the present moment, it is over. It helps you notice another’s tears and stop and dry them, to hear the despair in another’s voice and care enough to ask what’s wrong. Stopping to collect our hearts and minds before we begin something new is the sign that we know we are about to do the will of God in the world and that we must not go unprepared to do our very best.

Through the practice of statio you can find the best of yourself despite the melee of modern noise. You can hear the voice of God in the midst of the busy world. Statio is about more than saying you’re concerned about what is happening to the vulnerable in the world around you. Its about taking time to study the issues. Its about getting ready to continue the conversation, so that those who have no voice have yours.