Prayer Habits



Let us try to practice these acts of piety which will lead us, almost without our realizing it, to contemplative prayer:

Daily Habits

  • Get up at a fixed time, as early as possible. Eight hours of sleep are enough. More than these or less than six hours of sleep is not good.
  • Offer the day to God through the intercession of Our Lady.
  • Try to participate in the Mass, receiving Holy Communion, as often as possible. This is the best sacrifice we can offer to God. Before Holy Mass, spend at least 15 minutes in mental prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
  • Work with intensity during the day. Sanctifying ordinary work is the task of our life.
  • Pray the Rosary, if possible, with your family.
  • Do some spiritual reading. Start with the New Testament and some well known ascetical book.
  • Pray the Angelus at noontime. (During Eastertime, we say the Regina Coeli instead.)
  • Make a short examination of conscience at the end of the day.

Weekly Habits

  • Sunday is the Lord's day. Center all activities around the Holy Mass. It is also a family day--for rest and for spiritual growth.
  • If you do not receive Holy Communion every day, receive at least on Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation.
  • Saturday is traditionally dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Honor her and pray the Hail Holy Queen.

Monthly Habits

  • Spend a few hours in recollection. Consider how you are directing your life toward God.
  • Go to Confession at least once a month. It is the sacrament of joy. Pope John Paul II says: God is always the one who is principally offended by sin--I have sinned against Thee--and God alone can forgive. He does so through the ministry of the priest in the sacrament of Penance which is the ordinary way of obtaining forgiveness and remission of mortal sins. Every mortal sin must always be stated with its determining circumstances in an individual confession.

Yearly Habit

  • A few days of retreat are necessary for the soul in the same way that the body needs a vacation. Spend three days within the year in silence, talking only to God. Consider a retreat as a yearly opportunity for conversion.

Always...

  • Stay in the presence of God. Try to please Him in everything as a child tries to please his father.
  • Thank God for all the graces He constantly gives.
  • Do everything for the love of God: this is purity of intention. Always purify your intention. Make an act of contrition whenever there is a need to atone.
  • Try to live as you would like to die. We shall die as we have lived.

Excerpt from Handbook of Prayers. A Complete Treasury of Prayers and Order of Mass.

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