The girls and I have only recently begun adding formal morning, evening and additional night time prayers, along with the daily readings from the Mass and I'm already noticing a huge difference in our lives. Up until this week our family prayer routine included a family rosary and grace before meals. These past few weeks I've been excited for October to arrive, so we could begin following along in our new subscription of Magnificat.
I didn't really expect any immediate drastic changes when we got our October Magnificat, but I'm really excited about how the reality of adding these prayers to our day has already affected us.
It's only been a few days, but I've consistently noticed that after saying the prayers I feel refreshed. I have more energy to go forward from that moment and do the things that need to be done. More than that, I'm in a better mood to do them. And perhaps best of all, since I haven't been feeling exhausted, I'm finding it easier to be patient.
I know that I shouldn't be surprised. When I first began praying the rosary I didn't have particularly high expectations. In fact, I don't even really remember how or why I started praying it while in RCIA, only that I did and that the transformative aspect of the simple series of prayers that involve meditating on the mysteries of Jesus' life, was dramatic.
People have asked me how I went from Point A (agnostic radical communist, although I went through a Buddhist phase as well...) to Point B (orthodox Catholic) and I've had a hard time answering the question, because to be honest, I feel as though I had very little to do with it. I was searching for something and I wasn't sure exactly what it was. I prayed and God granted me the grace to find the truth I'd been rejecting all along and led me down a path that I never could have found on my own, where my questions were answered, in spite of myself.
Over the years when I've found myself "too busy" to pray the rosary I'll quickly notice that my temper is shorter and that I'm more argumentative. Life is just harder and it's much tougher to act the way that I know I should. For me that's extra motivation to stay up a little later to pray if we're short on time during he day.
That's one of the reasons that I'm so enthusiastic about praying the rosary as a way of drawing closer to God. And now I'm finding myself equally enthusiastic about daily prayer times as I find myself receiving a boost, both spiritually and physically that I didn't realize that I needed.
I'm thankful that God always knows what we need, when we're open to accepting His help (and His will!) in our lives. The last few months have been painful, but at the same time I think they've brought our family closer to God, as suffering often does if we don't allow it to make us bitter.
What devotions have you found that have been transformative in bringing you closer to God? Did you notice a gradual change or a dramatic change (or both!)?