Morning Prayer in the next thing that is so important.
First really try not to turn on the radio or worse the TV. It is so unnecessary and will only contribute to noise in your head and probably disturbing noise, chaotic noise – a cacophony of noise. And you really do not need it.
Studies (I do not have a specific reference here) state the average North America spends anywhere from three to four hours a day on news. From morning till bed time we are being inundated via TV, radio, podcasts, newspaper, internet, cell phones, tablets with news, news and more news.
At the same time many people say that they do not have time to pray! Really! Three to four hours sunk or hooked into news (much of which is negative) and no time to pray! We need to do a reality check.
I fully realize that many people who might read this have children who are perhaps getting ready for school or perhaps even going off to work.
The quiet that I am encouraging – that is in fact really important to get oneself ready for morning prayer (mediation) – is something that should or can precede people getting up. In other words, if you can, get up early – in the real quiet of the morning – at a scheduled time (use an alarm clock if you need) and have a cup of coffee or tea ready to help wake yourself up. Even Venerable Fulton J Sheen spoke often about the cup of coffee before his Holy Hour in the morning.
The main thing before any prayer begins is the intention – desire – to do it. NOTHING can substitute for this. The greatest informational and inspirational talk or book can deliver to you all the whys you should do this and even teach you how to do it but unless you want to and are determined to do this – come heck or highwater as the old saying goes – you either won’t do it or you’ll start with a defective intention or attitude and set yourself up to fail and retreat. Be aware of this or you are just fooling yourself.
What follows are simple but important steps to pray
- Have your place – your area – to pray
- Bring a timer. Start with 15 minutes. Aim 30 minutes and see what happens
- Start simply: Lord I am here; I know you are here. Teach me what you want me to learn and to know for the day ahead. Help me to pray
- Read the daily Readings from Mass or even just the daily Gospel.
- Read it again – slowly
- Keep the missalette or the bible in your lap or near you
- You can also have a crucifix near you – this helps to focus our attention on Jesus.
- Close your eyes and speak to the Lord as a disciple to his/her Teacher
- Say to him: Lord I want to be right there when you did this or taught this in the Gospel. I want to learn from you to be amazed, to adore, to give thanks, to petition you for the things I really need.
- Lord what do you want me to learn from this encounter I have with you? How can it make me a better disciple, a better child of God a better instrument of the Holy Spirit
- When the 15 or 30 minutes is coming to a close – say …
- Lord my time is coming to an end – help me to see one thing that I can put into practice today … one thing that I take from this encounter with you in today’s Gospel
- Thank you, Lord, for the good resolutions, affections and inspirations that you have communicated to me.
- Help me put them into effect as I prepare to leave the house or meet the various people that I will meet throughout the day.
On you go with the day