Struggling to dedicate your life to God? Try these simple holy habits.
Life is busy. We are constantly tugged and pulled by various obligations — family, work, and community.
It never seems to end and when we go to Mass on Sunday, we are reminded of our own failure to live each day under God’s inspiration. We forget to pray and life never stops to let us catch up.
What should we do to keep it from passing us by?
Here are five simple tips that can help the weary soul reclaim each day and dedicate it to God.
Holiness is much easier to attain if we stop putting so much pressure on ourselves and simply open up our heart in little ways each day.
1. Pray immediately after waking up
Saint Josemaria Escriva called this the “heroic minute” and wrote in The Way, “Many good Christians develop the habit of giving their first thought of the day to God. The ‘heroic minute’ follows: it facilitates the Morning Offering and getting the day off to a good start. The heroic minute. It is the time fixed for getting up. Without hesitation: a supernatural reflection and … up. The heroic minute: here you have a mortification that strengthens your will and does no harm to your body. If, with God’s help, you conquer yourself, you will be well ahead for the rest of the day. It’s so discouraging to find oneself beaten at the first skirmish.”
It is an extremely simple way to start your day off on the right foot, but also one of the hardest.
2. Schedule five minutes to pray during the day
Again, nothing earth shattering, but something that we too often forget. The important part about this is to schedule time for prayer. It can be five minutes, 15 minutes or even 30 minutes. Whatever it is, the key is to block off that time in your daily schedule and not let anything touch it. This can be done at work or at home (or on the road). Schedule it and make it a recurring event every day.
3. Pray the “Jesus Prayer”
Another way to incorporate God into your everyday life is to recite the short “Jesus Prayer.” The Catechism describes this ancient prayer like this: “This simple invocation of faith developed in the tradition of prayer under many forms in East and West. The most usual formulation, transmitted by the spiritual writers of the Sinai, Syria, and Mt. Athos, is the invocation, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us sinners.’ It combines the Christological hymn of Philippians 2:6-11 with the cry of the publican and the blind men begging for light. By it the heart is opened to human wretchedness and the Savior’s mercy” (CCC 2667).
Saying this prayer over and over again is a great way to meditate on the beauty and mercy of God. It hardly takes a few seconds to say, but packs a great spiritual punch!
4. Carry a rosary with you wherever you go
You don’t even have to pray the rosary, just carry one in your pocket or purse. This might seem odd, but it can be a source of inspiration or consolation throughout the day. You might reach into your pocket to get your keys and pull out a rosary instead. Or you might be rummaging through your purse and find your rosary. It is a simple reminder of God and may serve as a reminder to pray at a moment you need God the most.
Rosaries were the first “fidget spinners”!
5. Pray before going to bed
If you started off the day with God, the only way to end it is with God. Prayers at bedtime don’t have to be complex, but should generally revolve around thanksgiving. Be thankful for what God has given you this day and make a resolution to do better tomorrow. Many of the saints practiced different variations of this bedtime ritual and all greatly benefited from it.
By Philip Kosloski