Thursday, October 6, 2011

Daily Prayers and God's Grace in Our Lives

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.

After beginning to pray the rosary I found that ideas and Church teachings that I had passionately resisted accepting, were ultimately the ones that made the most sense to me a short while later.

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!)?


  1. The rosary definitely helps me spiritually, and people I know who pray the rosary every day. A huge one is going to Masses at least once daily along with our Sunday obligation. If I don't have that extra Mass, I start to get more stressed and even upset, things get harder to handle. I have started praying the Divine Office night prayer very recently, and I love it as well.

  2. I shared the same thoughts recently in the witness I gave on Spirituality on a CRHP retreat at our Parish. Times in my life when the rosary has been a regular part of my life things are smoother, I am more patient, less stressed, etc. When my husband and I were in the habit of praying the Divine Office night prayers I slept better (I have anxiety that can keep me awake at night). But we have fallen out of these habits. With October being the month of the rosary maybe it's time to get back! Thanks for the motivation!

  3. I'm particularly attached to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. I also love the Divine Office but it is just not practical for me at the moment. The Chaplet I can actually get my children to pray with me.

  4. Count me in for the change of heart. I used to be very pro choice pro contraceptive you name it I clung strong to those beliefs. I finally have had a change of real heart and I seem to be drawn nearer to God the more I pray and the more I say the rosary.

  5. The rosary definitely helps me, but honestly (and maybe it's my Protestant roots!), I NEED what I call "spontaneous" prayer time. Whether it's writing in my journal or just speaking to God about what is on my heart, I have to set aside time to talk to him just like the compassionate Father he is!

  6. I used to pray the rosary throughout the day while I was at work. Sometimes it was all that got me through the day!

    Sadly, I have fallen out of the habit of doing it at home.

    You post has really encouraged me to begin setting time for it again. Thank you!

  7. Beautiful post! I try to pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet daily. As part of my formation in the Lay Carmelites, we pray the Liturgy of the Hours as well. I love that because I am praying with all of the ordained clergy and religious in the Church!

    In Christ,

  8. My husband and I have been praying (most days? we've kinda let this fall to the side lately) Morning and Evening prayers from the Little Office of the BVM together (which, if you're not familiar with it already, follows the form of the Divine Office and is considered a prayer of the Church as well). How do you bring the girls into it? My boys are little too and active and not very verbal yet, so, while I would love to pray with them, I have no idea how. They just climb all over me like the little monkeys they are while I'm struggling to focus. I do find that praying this provides a great framework and focus to my day.

    Besides that, we are planning to start praying a family rosary this month. My idea is to put the boys in bed and we'll go into their room and pray out loud. My husband doesn't like the rosary, he doesn't know how to meditate on the mysteries while praying yet, so its been a challenge convincing him. I love the rosary and it was instrumental in my conversion (at 13).

    I also have recently been trying to set aside about a half hour each morning or evening when everyone is in bed to practice the Carmelite method of mental prayer. This has made a dramatic difference in my relationship with God already and has made me more generous in my attitudes lately.

    The last thing is praying the Divine Mercy chaplet. Its so quick, I have no problem squeezing it in to a busy, exhausting day. I put the boys to nap at about 3, and that's the hour of mercy, so that's when I do it. I usually offer it up for family and friends who are away from God, something that is always on my mind. I do find this middle of the day break for prayer gives me that spiritual pick-me up I really need at that time of day. That, and a cup of tea. ;)


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