These are two very good questions which require a clear answer, especially in the times in which we live. Noise surrounds us these days – more than ever before. Between keeping up with our jobs, schoolwork, social media and the daily news – not to mention spending quality time with family and friends each day, we are squeezed for time. We struggle to keep up.
But if we are going to make a real effort to keep God in our daily lives, we have to shut out the noise, at least for a few minutes here and there. Once we have made that commitment, we need to pray for greater faith:
- To believe that our unseen God is very present,
- To believe that our God has created us, each of us, in his image and likeness, and
- To believe that our God loves us and wants to build a personal relationship with each one of us. Remember: No one is excluded. We can choose not to believe that truth; we can choose to live our lives with only earthly goals. But if we do follow that earthly path, we can end up very far from the heart, the mind and the Spirit of the living God.
Let’s review some steps you can take if you feel you are headed in the wrong direction and have the courage to admit it.
- Pray every day that God will resurrect that gift of faith given to you in baptism and confirmation. Just say, “Lord, restore or strengthen the faith I have.”
- If you don’t have a regular prayer time, ask God to give you the discipline to carve out 15 minutes a day – preferably at the beginning of the day.
- Pray the Morning Offering
- Read the Mass readings for the day.
- Make a decision about how to live out the teaching for this day in your life: an attitude that needs to change, forgiveness to be offered or a request for forgiveness from another; a new way to serve others in your family; a new attitude toward your fellow workers or parishioners – you get the idea. Each small thing put into practice begins to lighten the darkness of sin in our own lives. As we follow this process, we can actually begin to experience a new joy, even in the routineness of daily living – joy which is a sign of the presence of the Holy Spirit.
- Keep a Bible near you or use a Bible app – read it for a few moments when you have time during the day. Thank God for saving you, thank him for giving you the real hope of eternal life.
- Close with praying the Lord’s Prayer slowly, focusing on every word. By giving God your attentiveness and willingness to conform your life to his Truth, you will begin to receive a joy and peace the world cannot give.
- Choose three times during the day when you decide, even for a moment, to turn your heart to God, to remember what you decided in Morning Prayer; to tell God you love him and want to love him more. Remember, it takes time and patience to build a new habit. Don’t be discouraged.
"O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, the reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month."