"Christians sometimes think you need to conquer the senses in order to pray, but it is far more efficient to first give the body the attention it begs for and deserves. St. Teresa of Avila, writing centuries ago on the art of prayer, said that it was important to be comfortable when you pray. Who can concentrate on prayer while the knees complain bitterly of the hard, cold floor? Instead, she advised, attend to the senses and acknowledge the body, preparing yourself for the reverence for which you were created."

To Practice: Readjust your comfort level while praying. What is the optimum setting for your senses?