“Pray ALWAYS?” Is That Possible?
Some Practical Prayer Tips
1. Take a line from the liturgy of the day and repeat it during the day. A new line every day. The responsorial psalm or the Gospel Acclamation theme are good ones. — Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Prior of the Diocesan Benedictine Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
2. Let a thought from your morning meditation be as background music in your mind during the day. — St. Teresa of Jesus, from her writings
3. Take a holy card (or picture) of Christ and place it where you can see it so that you may think of Him. — St. Teresa of Jesus, from her writings
4. Follow our Carmelite rule and customs to the very best of your ability, daily, and they will give you a recollected spirit in the midst of your work. — Mother Margarita Maria, O.C.D.
5. Pray short aspirations because they can be made while coming and going about one’s business. Recommend yourself to God the first thing in the morning, tell Him that you do not wish to offend Him, and then go about your business, resolved, nevertheless, to raise your spirit to God, even amidst company. — St. Francis de Sales
6. Make a spiritual communion every hour. I set the stop watch I use. — Sr. Maria Elia, O.C.D.
7. Fix your inward gaze upon Him amidst your occupations. — St. Francis de Sales
8. If you make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament in the morning, and remember to ask Our Lord to help you during the day, He will. — Sr. Marinette, O.C,D.
9. Find a “trigger moment,” such as putting your keys on the desk; turning off the computer, or laying out clothes for the next day that can serve as a reminder to take a moment for short prayer. — Anonymous
10. Instead of a coffee break, take a short prayer break. In the mid-morning or mid-afternoon, get up and move into a different space and think of God. — Sr. Marinette, O.C.D.
11. I think of God every time I look at a watch or clock. — Sr. Vincent Marie, O.C.D.
12. I sing hymns in my heart during the day. — Sr. Miriam Amata, O.C.D.
What are Spiritual Aspirations?
“Do you then, my child, to aspire continually to God, by brief, ardent upliftings of heart; praise God, invoke His aid, cast yourself in spirit at the Foot of His Cross, adore His Goodness, offer your whole soul a thousand times a day to Him, fix your inward gaze upon Him, stretch out your hands to be led by Him, as a little child to its father, clasp Him to your breast as a fragrant bouquet. In short, enkindle by every possible action your love for God, your tender, passionate desire for the Heavenly Bridegroom of souls. Such is prayer of aspiration, as it was so earnestly inculcated by Saint Augustine; and be sure, my child, that if you seek such nearness and intimacy with God your whole soul will imbibe the perfume of His Perfections. Neither is this a difficult practice,–it may be interwoven with all our duties and occupations, without hindering any; for neither the spiritual retreat of which I have spoken, nor these inward upliftings of the heart, cause more than a very brief distraction, which, so far from being any hindrance, will rather promote whatever you are doing. The practice of these short aspirations can supply all our deficiencies, but without a true contemplative life cannot be lived, and the active life will be but imperfect.
–St. Frances de Sales