Tag Archives: prayer

Not Alone Series: Prayer Routines

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What do you do in the morning, and evening, and during the day, to keep up your relationship with God? Do you have any pro tips? As single people, we’re not forced to attend to families when we get home from work, but it’s easy to just have a Netflix binge (especially during the cozy winter months). What can we do to maintain a thriving prayer life?

I am all about my habits, routines, and organization around here. For me, what gets scheduled gets done. This is what my prayer life looks like right now:

  • Roll out of bed: the Morning Offering and the Prayer to My Guardian Angel (the same one we teach little kids, except that I had to learn it as a teenager)
  • When I get to my email: read Evangelio del dia (the Gospel of the day, in Spanish; plus a reflection, also in Spanish)
  • Before eating lunch: the Angelus
  • On my drive home from work: the rosary
  • Before Mass: prayers of thanksgiving for being at Mass and for whatever is on my mind and heart
  • During Communion: my favorite prayer, some secret prayers, and whatever comes to mind
  • After Mass: the Divine Praises, the Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, and a Glory Be
  • Saturday mornings (usually): Morning Prayer, from the Liturgy of the Hours (LOTH) using my single-volume breviary and iBreviary
  • Sunday evenings: LOTH Evening Prayer
  • Before bed: LOTH Night Prayer

One of those is Scripture reading, but otherwise I just stuck with prayer for that list. Trying to wrap up all the parts of my spiritual life would be almost impossible!

I say all of this not to brag, but to point out that I have customized my prayer life to my personality and my state in life. As we discussed last link-up, it’s not so much that single people have more time for prayer but that it can be shoved into our days basically wherever we want it. I don’t have a toddler wandering out of bed and into my room when I’m praying Night Prayer. I am a total GTD fan, so I stay on top of my email inbox and don’t let the daily Scripture readings pile up. For me, the Morning Offering is a joyful habit, not a burdensome obligation or membership requirement.

I do what works for me. You should do what works for you. If you can find time to binge a show on Netflix (or even just watch one episode every day), or to read a whole book in a single day, you can probably find time to peruse the daily readings.

What works for your prayer life? How do you pray without ceasing?


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7 Quick Takes That Are Legitimately Quick Again!

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— 1 —

I got another referral credit for YNAB! Thank you, anonymous purchaser!

At this point, that means I spent 10% less when I bought it and have earned another 20% of the original purchase price ($60) since then. I’m not saying everyone will reap the same rewards, but it’s worth a shot, right? I have almost attained a positive (cash) net worth in about a year and a half thanks to YNAB. Refresh your memory on my YNAB journey, and then use my discount/referral link to save on getting YNAB for yourself!

— 2 —

I published my thoughts on the dumb-sounding phrase “capital-T tradition” yesterday. After the traffic I’ve been getting from my first post about Wunderlist and GTD, I knew it was time to press publish on that one, too.

One additional thought I have is about the word “tradition” at all. I prefer to use the words “custom” and “customary” in place of “tradition” and “traditional” when I talk about practices and beliefs that can change. For example, it’s not “traditional” to receive Communion on the tongue; it’s customary. There are several options that have been more popular or less popular over time. You can choose the one that works for you, and you are not a bad Catholic if your favorite isn’t someone else’s favorite.

“Traditional” is also easy ammunition for picking fights. As I heard on an episode of the Catching Foxes podcast recently, why do we always seem to argue only with people who believe and do 95% of the same things we do?

— 3 —

I dance West Coast Swing so that I can eat more cupcakes.

The fun, social applications, and exercise are just gimmicks.

— 4 —

That video with Jackie Francois Angel and Bobby Angel I mentioned last week had a couple of money quotes from Bobby, too, that stuck with me:

Loneliness is God knocking on your heart, asking you to spend time with him.

The great part is that even if all you do is whine to God about how lonely you are, he’ll listen. He gets it. It was lonely on the Cross, too.

Jesus, I trust in you. That’s a really easy prayer to say, but it’s a really hard prayer to do.

Yep.

— 5 —

Further on dance, this week was my first time in Level 3, and it was awesome! The class was very full, but we managed to all warm up to “Uptown Funk” (slowed down slightly) without colliding. Slot dances are the best. I recognized several faces I’d seen in previous levels and at social dances. The patterns we learned were tricky, but I feel pretty confident about them.

I had two great moments. First, one of the leaders seemed un-confident when I rotated to him, but after we went through the pattern the first time, he said, “I do believe you’re making me look good.” Aww, yeah. Then, the next leader could sense that I was getting it, so he dipped me! I still can’t quite get my form right, but we both stayed on our feet, so I’m calling that a win.

— 6 —

I got to visit one of our in-progress construction sites for work this week. I’ve been to another one, but that was so close to finished that the client had already moved in. The air conditioning was on there. This one is mostly just piles of dirt with a couple of cool features in progress. I’m pretty sure I kicked up the style of the site about ten notches by being (a) the only woman, and (b) still dressed nicely, even though it was Friday, because I always dress for work. Getting to see the people and, well, dirt that becomes paperwork and dollar signs on my end definitely widened my perspective.

— 7 —

Today was my brother’s first real college football game. He is a sophomore by credit but took a redshirt year for eligibility. They won! I came in heavy on brains in the family, so he helps balance it out with some brawn.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

How I Became an Apostle of Prayer

In December 2014, I became an apostle. I’d thought about it before, but it was a while (years, actually) before I took the plunge. Now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I first discovered the Morning Offering when I was in college. My roommate and I slept in bunk beds before we got our own rooms. I have always been a top bunk kind of girl, so every morning, I would climb down the foot of our beds in the dark, like some kind of methodical monkey, to turn off my alarm. I purposely chose an annoying alarm on a real clock, and my roommate was a light sleeper, so I had plenty of motivation to get moving. Slumped in my desk chair after vanquishing the alarm, I turned on my desk lamp and squinted at two Post-its stuck to the edge of my desktop bookshelf.

One said this:

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you all of 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, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for all the intentions of our bishops, all the Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.

The other had two bullet points: one general (now “universal”) intention and one mission (now “evangelization”) intention. I found them online. I mumbled my way through the prayers and intentions, still about 60% asleep, and eventually convinced myself to move on with getting ready for the day.

Fast-forward to my second year of teaching. I found myself re-learning that offering prayer and reciting it at the beginning of the day, every day. It was part of the morning announcements at my school. Our theology department chair was on point. It was then that I realized the “apostles of prayer” were actual people. I had been praying for their intentions. Furthermore, this was a group I could join. So why didn’t I?

Moving on again, we find me just this past December. I don’t know what led me back to the website of the Apostleship of Prayer in the U.S., but I got there, and I registered, and now it’s official.

Lindsay Wilcox has pledged to make a daily offering of self to God for the salvation of all people, for the monthly prayer intentions of the pope, and for the intentions of all the Apostles of Prayer throughout the world. This pledge entitles one to membership in the Apostleship of Prayer.

I’m in good company. How’s St. Thérèse for a fellow member?

Before doing good on Earth from heaven, Therese joined the Apostleship of Prayer.

After I joined, I received a lovely booklet listing the pope’s intentions for the year. I keep it on top of my breviary, which I use nightly, so I see it all the time. I also get an email on the first day of the month reminding me of the new intentions and linking me to the reflections provided by the AOP staff.

It has been glorious.

A bit of history: The Apostleship of Prayer began in 1844 when Fr. Francis Gautrelet counseled his Jesuit students about how to console their missionary hearts. They wanted to evangelize in countries around the world, but they were stuck studying in heavily-Catholic France. By offering their whole day to God in union with the intentions of the Sacred Heart and Holy Father, they satisfied their desire to participate in the work of missionary evangelization even while buried under books in the library. The movement spread to 13 million members around the world in just forty years. Today, I am one of them.

The old international AOP website summarizes the purpose and benefits of joining. The Apostleship of Prayer:

  • proposes a way to sanctification
  • through the daily offering
  • that transforms our lives,
  • and unites us in a worldwide communion of prayer
  • through the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts,
  • and arouses in us the desire to have the same sentiments that were in the heart of Christ,
  • so that, nourished and molded by him in the Eucharist
  • and reconciled with him in the sacrament of Reconciliation,
  • we become able to put ourselves totally and with all our heart at his disposition
  • and at the disposition of his Church,
  • following the example of Mary,
  • for the coming of his reign.

Do you want to do that? Join the Apostleship of Prayer! It’s free, and you can enroll online anytime. You can also donate to support the work of the AOP, including ministry tools for children and young adults, new media evangelization, and Ignatian retreats held around the country.

Pray with the Pope in the Apostleship of Prayer.

The first and primary duty of an Apostle of Prayer, however, is to pray for the intentions of the pope. This duty is pope-neutral, i.e. it doesn’t matter who is pope at any particular moment. When he asks for prayer, you pray. Even before I became a member, I prayed (and fasted) for peace with Syria. Did the U.S. go to war with Syria? Nope! That’s a pretty solid result in my book. I’m still praying for the actual “peace” part.

Secondary duties are to promote devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, promote the Holy Father’s intentions, and invite others to join the AOP. It is also recommended to go to Mass as often as possible and pray the rosary daily. I’m still working on that, but I think I’ve neatly fulfilled promotion and invitation right here.

The mission of the Apostleship of Prayer is to encourage Christians to make a daily offering of themselves to the Lord for the coming of God’s Kingdom and for the Holy Father’s monthly intentions. This habit of prayer encourages a Eucharistic spirituality of solidarity with the Body of Christ and loving service to others. Nourishing this spiritual program is the love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. (source)

If you’ve ever thought about joining a prayer group with no meetings, one membership requirement, and universal and eternal effect, join the Apostleship of Prayer. I’d love to have you with me.

What I Wore Sunday, Vol. 41

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This was not a great weekend for timely memes, but I had an unusually good time getting ready for church.

Dress and undershirt from Old Navy. Shoes from DSW (I think). Earrings and necklace were gifts.

Dress and undershirt from Old Navy. Shoes from DSW (I think). Earrings and necklace were gifts.

I finally read the Building a Remixable Wardrobe series from Putting Me Together, one of the few fashion blogs I read. (You’ve either got to be modest and/or someone I know in real life. If you’re interested in who I follow, comment!) I don’t have the cash flow to commit to a wardrobe makeover right now, but I started taking Audrey’s principles to heart. Purple is my favorite color, I look good in it, and I hadn’t worn this dress in a while, so on it went. It’s from an Old Navy dress sale several years ago. I almost bought the same one in blue! The undershirt was purchased the same day, so it matches exceptionally well.

Relative to the color principles of wardrobe remixing, I have always felt that chocolate brown works well for me and with this dress. I don’t own purple shoes, but black just doesn’t look right with this outfit. I have purple butterfly earrings, but I went with the pale purple crystals to draw out the roundness of the polka dots and my Confirmation cross to match the crystals from the earrings. All in all, this was one of my favorite outfits ever.

Regarding the content of Mass, the music was pretty blah. Our priest took the opportunity to give a homily on the Lord’s Prayer, but when I pre-read the readings, what stuck out to me was persistence and perseverance. The Gospel included the Lord’s Prayer, sure, but the rest of the Gospel, the psalm, and the entire first reading were all about persistence and perseverance. “Keep asking. Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. God hears you, and he will answer you.” That was what I heard, and it was what I needed, especially since I still don’t have a new job (or a husband, for that matter). I needed encouragement that God is listening and that he will respond according to his will and in his time. I just wish that the priest had gotten that same message. Oh, well. Heaven still touched Earth. Good times.

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