Thursday, March 10, 2011

Daily Practice

This is a wonderful article from Catholic Culture about the daily practice that bind us to the Church, to the supernatural, to God; and help bring us to that life we know in our hearts is the way we are meant live.

An excerpt.

“The alarm clock sounds. A young man rises and makes a morning offering to his Lord and Savior. He will mark the rest of the day with remembrances of God: Mass in the morning, the Angelus at noon, grace before each meal, a brief prayer whenever it is time for a new appointment, or whenever he goes out or comes in. He will do some spiritual reading after dinner, and say a Rosary as well. Before retiring, he will examine his conscience and offer some final prayers. He has not only habituated himself to certain devotions at certain times; he is also practicing the presence of God.

“Or take another image. A mother of three young children tries occasionally to take them to Mass, and she makes a point of her daily Rosary too. But she has also developed a number of “holy tricks” that help her keep a proper spiritual focus throughout the day. Each time she is interrupted, she uses it as a reminder to invoke God’s blessing. As she attends to her children’s needs, she asks Mary to help her to respond in union with her Immaculate Heart. When the phone rings (always at the worst of times) she prays for patience. At nap time, she takes a few moments deliberately to recollect herself, placing herself before the infant Jesus at one with her child, and gazing on Him with love.

“Or perhaps each time a plumber is called to a home, he prays that the grace of baptism will reach and cleanse each member of that household. A loan officer at a local bank may ask God on behalf of each new client for the wisdom to use resources prudently and for His glory. A road worker might offer quick petitions for the safety of the motorists who must navigate the work zone. An elderly man could choose to invoke Saint Joseph every time he feels his age in the pain of muscle or joint.

“Few of us live in religious communities in which the hours of the day are marked by calls to prayer, or in small villages in which a church bell reminds everyone of the divinely ordered passage of time. The rest of us need to do things all on our own. First, we must schedule certain regular patterns of prayer and meditation, set periods in which we deliberately place ourselves in the presence of God in an extended way. Second, we must take advantage of little things that occur in the normal flow of our day and make them “Church bells” that remind us to raise our minds and hearts to God.

“As the examples above suggest, these little things can be anything we want to use—small triggers to which, with some effort, we can learn to respond by emerging from the business at hand to acknowledge God. Some people set regular alarms on their computers, cell phones or wrist watches. But others use the normal pace-changers of the day: Opening or closing a door, getting up from one’s desk, going to a meeting, shifting from one task to another, and so on. The key is to let something pull us out of our normal concentration from time to time so that we can take a moment to offer everything to God, ask his blessing, pray for any special intentions, or simply reaffirm our wish to live always in His presence.”