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Running as a spiritual experience

Patrick Muldoon is the Languages Editor of the online Jesuit prayer website Sacred Space. He is also a marathon runner who experiences running as a life enhancing time of prayer and gratitude which nourishes his faith.

As more and more people take to running, especially as part of a New Year resolution, Patrick talks to Pat Coyle of Irish Jesuit Communications, about his passion for a sport that he says helps keep him clear-headed and focussed. He explains how being part of the running community from an early age is a gift that is still paying dividends in his 30’s.

Patrick says he prays formally in quiet places, and his running is also a time for praying. He prays in thanksgiving for all the gifts in his life, including his father, who introduced him to running. And he prays in petition also.

Patrick says running has also been hugely beneficial for his mental well-being, helping him to achieve balance and serenity in his life especially when in challenging times for his mental health. An early morning run, he says, gives one time to really observe the beauty of God’s creation as well as helping to ‘declutter’ the mind.

The Mullingar Harriers club, where he began his running career, has become a real community for him. It’s another reason to be grateful for his life, which he says is ‘blessed with the God-given gift of running”.