Monday, October 21, 2013

I Wish I'd Known

Prayer will make you beautiful!
It might not give you flowing dark hair,
though. Sad face.
I wish I'd known that prayer is like all other types of socialization: we learn to do it as children in a rudimentary, sweet way. As we grow into middle-schoolers and high-schoolers and college students and young professionals and spouses and middle-aged people and elders, all our friendships advance and flower. Prayer (intimacy with God) should, too! I wish I'd known that I was living the prayer life of a child into my late teens.

I've thought about this several times recently: I listened to a talk from the School of Faith (get the talk by creating a login here; it's Faith Foundations I Lesson 9) and I read this post about prioritizing prayer and then I heard my parish priest give a homily saying pretty much the same thing just yesterday.

Do you live an age-appropriate prayer life? This article might be a good help towards a beginning to grow up into spiritual adolescence. And asking someone who is a little further along in the journey was helpful for me; hopefully God will (or has already) placed this person in your life. If not, pray that He will!

Now you know what I wish I'd known. God bless you today!


  1. What would you recommend for someone who hadn't prayed (with commitment) in a while?

    1. First, I recommend humility with confidence about the past. Don't be troubled by temptations of wasted time or mistakes or anger at those who may not have taught you. St. Faustina said our past is the home of God's mercy, so follow His example and forgive others and yourself about this not-praying-in-a-while.

      Second, make a firm resolution to make this period the last time in your life that your aren't praying. Think of this: on the day of your death when you and Jesus look over your life together, aim to make this the turning point. "That's when we really started talking," you'll say. "And now we can keep it up for eternity."

      Third, talk with someone about this desire to pray more. This may be hard to do, but you always have your parish priest, whom you can tell in confession (after confessing your sins, just say "Father, I'm going to try to pray every day") or at another occasion. Get in touch with this person about once a month, specifically talking about your prayer at least briefly. This keeps you on track.

      As far as prayer goes for you, someone who knows more about you could offer advice based on your state in life, age, etc. But a morning offering, fifteen minutes of meditation (listen to this or watch this or read this), and an evening examen is a strong and healthy beginning.

      Finally, if you forget to pray one day (or several, or more than several), re-start. The best way to do this is by making a sacramental confession. This isn't to say not praying is a mortal sin. Many people think confession is about relieving shame, but it's really repairing a relationship. If you neglect the relationship, confession re-seals it. It also gives you actual grace to succeed in the future.

      I want to know your thoughts as you read this. Did I answer your question? What kind of questions do you have now?

  2. Yes, you answered my question. Thank you for everything.

    1. You're welcome. I will be praying for you. Happy feast of Christ the King!