Make Strides in Your Daily Life

Today I read an interesting post titled, There Is No “Catholic Awareness” Ribbon. Upon reading it, a realization came to light that would probably answer why Catholics are often fond of symbolism. Most of the time, we see pictures of saints, a crucifix, and statues in Catholic homes. This sparks constant arguments with non-Catholics. While I was thinking of this fact, I thought of something else.

Andrew, the author of the blog was offered a pink ribbon for cancer awareness and he declined because he said he already knew about breast cancer and there was no reason for him to be wearing the ribbon. He also wrote about how he bought a new car and hung a rosary in the rear view mirror. The rosary ended up being a reminder for him to be kind on the road.

So my realization was that crosses, rosaries, and statues of saints can help make strides in your daily life. These strides can be like Andrew being kinder on the road, or they can be seeing a rosary and deciding to pray more that day. They help us be aware, and be constantly reminded that we should love our daily lives according to our faith and according to the teachings of God.

A Prayer For Humility: Give Praise to the Lord

Pride is sin that we all are guilty of. What beats pride is humility. At times we are faced with a lot of circumstances in life that tempt us to be overly proud. The Bible tells us that pride is sinful and it corrupts our spirit. We must remember that all things come from our creator and everything that we have is because of God. In everything that we do we should remember to give praise to God. Letting pride get in the way of praising God is common though, and we will all struggle with it from time to time.

Often, I forgot that my achievements are not my own. I forgot that without God, nothing would have become of me. I came across a great post entitled: “Litany of Humility: A Prayer For A Beloved Sinner“. The prayer keeps me in touch with myself and taught me to remember that humility beats pride. I thought that others should read this prayer for humility as well because it helped me very much.

Looking For A New Devotional? The 7 Prayers of St. Bridget

There really is a prayer for every need. There are prayers for before bed or grace for before meals. If you are looking for a new devotional that you can pray daily to have that alone time of prayer and meditation, there are St. Bridget’s 7 Prayers. According to iPadre Catholic Podcasting, when the devotional is prayed daily for one year, it holds a corresponding promise.

The promises are listed as follows:

1. The soul who prays them will suffer no Purgatory.

2. The soul who prays them will be accepted among the Martyrs as though he had spilled his blood for his faith.

3. The soul who prays them can choose three others whom Jesus will then keep in a state of grace sufficient to become holy.

4. No one in the four successive generations of the soul who prays them will be lost.

5. The soul who prays them will be made conscious of his death one month in advance.

The prayer is recommended to be said during adoration and as a form of meditation. If you are looking for a new devotional I think that the 7 prayers of Saint Bridget could be something nice to try out.

Prayer Takes Work: Don’t Become Distracted

I took the title of this entry from the opening statement of a very enlightening blog post titled, “Making a Plan for Prayer.” I’d like to even quote and share with you a few more words from the article which I feel has some great points for reflection:

It’s true that even the youngest child can prattle off a prayer learned by heart, and many adults will mumble through the prayers at Mass while mentally going over their grocery list or thinking about what they’re going to order at Sunday brunch. But real prayer, truthful prayer, the kind of prayer that enriches your soul; that kind of prayer takes effort.

In many ways, that’s the problem with prayer. It’s hard work, and to get anything out of it takes consistent effort on the part of the person praying.

Prayer takes work, not because there is a wrong and right way to pray. God doesn’t desires perfection in our prayers. Prayer takes work because as humans, we are prone to distractions. There is no doubt that we want to have a conversation with God, but like uninvited guests things in our lives overshadow our minds and guide us away from the Lord–often without us even noticing it.

The post I cited above, offers some great tips on how we can be more focused during prayer.

As Shakespeare said, “My words fly up, my thoughts remain below. Words without thoughts never to heaven go.” (Hamlet, Act iii, Scene 3)

Seeking God In The Morning

What is the first thing you do in the morning? For more than a year now, I have stuck to my resolution of spending the first 30 minutes of my morning seeking the Lord–in prayer, reading the Scriptures and writings of the Church and in meditation. I would say that this practice has greatly enriched my life. For the past year and a half, I have found it a lot easier to be cheerful and resilient to face the trials that come my way. Seeking God in the morning is now my thing.

For me, the early morning is the best time to seek God because it is quiet and still and I can easily direct my full attention towards the Lord. I believe the great King David thinks the same way too as he says in Psalms 5:3, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”

Find time for the Lord in the early part of the day and you will see how much life-changing this can be. Seeking God in the morning has become a beautiful and much anticipated part of my day.

Draw inspiration from one writer’s experience: “Mornings with God.”

Do You Pray The Liturgy of The Hours?

I have started praying The Liturgy of The Hours about a year ago, and reading Dan Burke’s article, “Liturgy of the Hours for the Rest of Us” prompted me to share this life enriching practice with you. Do you pray the liturgy of the hours?

The Liturgy of the Hours, also known as the Divine Office, canonical hours, or the Breviary is basically a set of daily prayers that was originally prescribed by the Catholic Church to be recited by priests, deacons and other religious institutes. But the Second Vatican Council later on counseled that it would be fitting for the general Catholic congregation to to take up the practice as well.

I encourage you to start getting accustomed to The Liturgy of The Hours. It has caused me great peace and joy in my everyday life.

As Pope Benedict said in one of his homilies, “Our relationship with God can only be enriched by our journeying towards Him day after day.” Praying The Liturgy of the Hours in addition to periods of private prayer, meditative reading of Scripture and attending Mass can certainly draw us closer to God. So do you pray the liturgy of the hours? If not, you might want to start thinking about it.

Should you need more information about The Liturgy of The Hours visit: The Divine Office.

Leading a Prayerful Life is Crucial

I was very happy to start my Monday with a compelling reminder from Renew The Church Blog’s post titled “Catholics Need to Learn to Pray.” I know that leading a prayerful life is crucial, but I was especially moved reading these very words:

All the coldness and insensitivity of the secular culture has had its effect on the members of the Catholic Church.  Because we in the Church have not been formed in the Faith adequately, many of us lack the solid foundation of faith adequate to resist the advances of the enemy…So I finally get to my point: we Catholics need to learn how to pray, so as to develop and live in the habit of prayerfulness.

There is indeed no doubt that the power of secularism has crept inside the Church and damaged the religious sense of its members. Leading a prayerful life is crucial for Catholics. If we do not want to be drawn to the darkness and have Satan destroy all the righteousness and holiness in our lives, we should establish a prayerful life.

Take the words of Apostle Paul about the power of prayer in Colossians 1:9-15: “For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Ask and It Will Be Given to You

Reading the post, “Knock and It Shall Be Opened,” prompted me to reflect on the encouraging words of Jesus in Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find;  knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Reading this text makes me feel very blessed. Imagine how privileged we are to have the maker of the entire Universe tell us how we can have all that we need–ask, seek and knock. Yes, this is a three-step process. Ask and it will be given to you if you take the necessary steps.

Step 1. Ask. We need to humbly come to God in prayer and acknowledge that we are in need of his help.

Step 2. Seek. Asking is not enough. You need to add diligence, determination and action to asking. Seeking in prayer means

The Power of Prayer in Trying Times

Another heart breaking tragedy has hit our nation, this time in the form of a massive tornado. While my family and I are thankful that we were not put through such a horrible calamity, we cannot help but shed a tear for all those who are affected by it. We would like to bring comfort to everyone who is affected by the disaster, we cannot be there for them physically. However, this does not mean that there’s nothing we can do for them. The power of prayer is always available to those who seek it.

As they say, you always have something to give. We may think that there is nothing we can offer others, but the truth is, there is always something that we can do to help. How? Pray–yes, we can give them the powerful gift of prayer. The spirit of love we share with them, magnified through prayer, reaches across the miles to comfort and bless all whose lives have been affected by the calamity. “Our Blessed Pope Francis urged us all to Join Hands And Prayer For Our Brothers And Sisters In Oklahoma. The power of prayer should not go overlooked.

I urge you to say this prayer with me:

Compassionate God, source of all comfort,
We pray for the people whose lives have devastated by rain and flood.
Bring them comfort, we pray.
Protect the vulnerable.
Strengthen the weak.
Keep at bay the spread of disease.
Have mercy on all those working to rescue the stranded and to feed the hungry.
And may our response to their suffering be generous and bring you praise.

For we ask it in Jesus Name, Amen.

Christian Aid

Never forget about the power of prayer. When you feel helpless turn to God in prayer.

Why I Pray The Rosary

A lot of people do not pray or believe in the power of the rosary. Many non-Catholics often refer to it as vain and repetitious, and even some Catholics do not fully understand its full meaning.  As for me and my family, the rosary is one of the most powerful sources of faith. It has kept us together and done wonders and miracles for our home through the years. The rosary strengthens our faith, fuels our love, and saves us from the harms and ills of this world.

Yes praying the rosary is repetitive, but this is one characteristic that makes it so powerful. This very nature of the rosary makes it more than just a prayer but also a form of meditation. Furthermore, when you pray it you address not only to our Heavenly Father, but the entire Holy Trinity and the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Pope Leo XIII said that, “The Rosary is the most excellent form of prayer and the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life. It is the remedy for all our evils, the root of all our blessings. There is no more excellent way of praying.”

I want to share an eye-opening post on the rosary with you here: Catholicism Through My Eyes: The Rosary.