Slow prayer

I gave a talk over the weekend to some executives and afterwards one of them, a very affable Austrian called Thomas, told me about the time he went to close a big business deal with the Vatican. He arrived from Vienna with a full schedule of meetings but instead of hurrying to the first of them his priest-chaperone took him to a chapel to pray for 45 minutes. And they stopped for further prayers after every meeting through the busy day. At first Thomas was anxious and restless, but eventually he surrendered to the ritual and actually found the breaks quite soothing. He also found that the meetings were more relaxed and more efficient (faster, even!) because he’d had time to reflect, recharge and even plan a little. Maybe prayer is the ultimate form of slowness.