Do you ever feel like there's so much to do you don't know where to start?

There are so many prayers, so many novenas, daily mass, daily rosary, daily chaplet, Little Office, Divine Office, Lectio…

I have trouble squeezing it all in, and then when I miss something, I beat myself up (I’ve gotten better about that…taking baby steps…not biting off more than I can chew). That said, I just starting doing the Little Office of the BVM, and I read several places in it where it kind of hints that it shouldn’t be done in place of the Divine Office, but WITH it. So I have the 8 prayers a day in the Little Office plus LOH? Believe me, I would spend all day in prayer if I didn’t have a job and a kid, etc…but there’s just SO much I want to do, I get freaked out that I’m either not doing the right things or that I’m going to forget one of them.

For example today…
Mass, Little Office (8 sections), Rosary/Daily Aspiration with Mary, Lectio, and all the reading I can squeeze in (currently reading Imitation of Christ). It doesn’t seem like too much until I log in to Universalis and see all the other readings, and remember that I wanted to do a novena, or the divine mercy chaplet. There aren’t enough hours in the day for everything I want to do.

How do you decide what to include/exclude? Do you rotate things? I need to keep it simple, but what are the most important things to prioritize, beyond Mass and Rosary? I’ve been a Catholic for 32 years (my whole life), and I’m STILL trying to figure this one out.

Thanks…

How did you come up with such a menu of devotions?

It just sort of grew. I love going to daily Mass, and the Rosary is a priority. Then I started doing Lectio about a year ago, and I loved that, so that stayed. Then I started doing some Marian devotions with Rosary, and that was awesome too…so it stayed. Then I picked up the Litugy of the Hours again, just morning and evening…which led to Universalis and ALL the readings. In an effort to keep it simple I went to the Little Office just this week, but then read that it’s not designed to REPLACE LOH, but supplement it. Who doesn’t love the Divine Mercy Chaplet? lol I guess my answer is that I got that menu because everything on it tasted good when I tried it.

All you need is love. :slight_smile:

More than one year ago, I overwhelmed myself with prayers - about 2 hours per night after work. After about year, I had more things to take care of besides praying. I then looked at what the devotions mean a lot to me and that I should keep and be able to do it everyday. Therefore, I stay with the Rosary, Divine Mercy, and Reading scripture, and try to go to daily mass as often as I could. Other novenas, from time to time I pick one of them and pray for nine days. For spiritual reading, I pray and pick one book that I think I know it is best for me during that month.

The rest of the time, I pray that I could think of God and Mary while performing other duties such as resting, washing dishes, watching TV, etc … and even when I get mad – this is the hardest thing. :smiley: :blush:

Thanks, that’s what I’m looking for. I don’t want to get overwhelmed, so I try to keep in simple, hence going from LOH to the Little Office. I’m not sure if that was a smart move. Does anyone else do the Little Office? At least with LOH, it was on my ipod from Universalis, so I could listen anywhere while doing almost anything. The Little Office seemed more “Mary Centered,” smaller, more intimate…maybe I’m wrong. I just don’t want to take a step backwards where that’s concerned. I would love doing either…but I am being realistic when I say I cannot do both.

Maybe a little low-key spiritual direction would help you to focus on what will best serve the Lord in your case. A lot depends on your condition of life.

Unless you have some sort of calling to the Religious life, keep it simple. Lay people in the world don’t have a requirement to pray any of these prayers, unless we want to, and when it doesn’t interfere with our own vocation, which is just as important as the vocation to the priesthood or the vocation of the Religious life.

Our vocation is our marriage, the raising of our children, and our work in the world. These are the necessary things that we must do.

The Precepts of the Church also call us to pray regularly (which doesn’t have to be anything elaborate), to educate ourselves as much as we reasonably can about our faith, to attend Mass on all Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation, to go to Confession when we need it, and to be witnesses of the Gospel in all of our actions.

If these extra devotions are interfering with our vocation of family and work, then we need to re-evaluate them. For example, if praying these devotional prayers takes you away from your children and your spouse, or if it causes you to steal time from your employer, then you have to choose your family and your work ahead of these, since our vocation is toward them; not towards these prayers.

Am I saying that you can’t pray with these devotions? Not at all. Just that we need to find a balance in our lives, discern our priorities, and organize our time in such a way that we take care of the things we are required to take care of, before we do the things that we like to do, but don’t have to do.

I hope that makes sense. :slight_smile:

Maybe so…maybe I will just ask Fr. for some suggestions. Thanks.

I’ve never done the Little Office of the BVM. I do the LOH (all of it), a rosary, Mass, scripture study and spend about an hour, more or less, in meditation. But I have a rule of life that requires these things and I stepped into it little by little.

The bolded part above may be true if you are in religious life but not for the laity. The LOH is the prayer of the Church but chosing the LOVM instead is fine. Lectio is great too but if you are already doing the LOH or the Little Office, doing Lectio using the daily readings or those from Mass might be better than adding new scripture meditations to your “routine”.

Speaking from my own experience, I get stressed trying to keep up with the devotions tied to a time of day. You might try, for example saying the DM Chaplet before or after Mass instead of the traditional 3pm. Or say the night time prayers of the LOH instead of the evening so you can move it to the very end of your day.

Rotating is fine too. You might try alternating the LOH and the Little Office or alternating the Lectio with your other devotional reading.

Jmcrae, thanks. Makes perfect sense. I do genuinely love all these prayers, which is what makes it hard when I have to pick and choose around “real life.” I am a single mom with a great job, and my son generally does all the same prayers I do, so it enhances my time with him. I don’t want/need a TV, so I don’t have that eating away at my time. I just want to make sure that I’m making the best use of my time. My job doesn’t interfere (and is probably quite blessed by it), and it hasn’t interfered with our ability to do volunteer work and such. I really can say I do this with Joy, but I also want to be sure I’m not putting quantity over quality. I just like all of them!

Corki…that’s a great idea to use my existing reading for Lectio. I go out to the Carmelite website and follow their lectio agenda, but I could just as easily do the other, and maybe incorporate it in to the end of Mass. I used to do rosary after mass, but since I have met a very special someone, I do the rosary with him in the evenings, as often as possible.

I hear you on the “time of day” prayers. I don’t stress myself over getting the exact hour right, or anything like that…because I know that 9 times out of 10, I won’t. But I do enjoy the readings, and don’t mind “squeezing” them all in as I can.

Guess I’m just trying to figure out of I’m “missing anything” by switching from LOH to LOBVM.

When Mary has appeard here & there, she seems to always tell us to pray, pray, pray. I am glad someone out there is doing this. Too many people these days just spend their time making money, spending money, thinking of ways to make more money… limiting the number of children they have so can have more money, etc…

But anyway. As some saint said, the one who prays makes it to Heaven. He who does not will not. or something like that. (can’t recall exact words).

I think if a person prays - and does nothing else - while, say… his house is burning down… and/or in other ways, his life is going to H— well, then there’s a problem. Other than that, i feel that more people should be like you. Well, i supose there might or could be some sort of scrupulosity going on??? :confused: But only a good spiritual director /priest would be able to help with that (and… :slight_smile: PRAYER). the rosary reveals such things to a person… but revelations come to a person a little here and a little there…

I don’t know… I would just pray the rosary over your problem and let the Holy Spirit guide you, which requires a lot of silence. There is so little silence in our world today…

God bless you. :slight_smile:

I talked to my priest about that. He said, “You’re not scrupulous, you just like to pray.” It’s not like I am going to mortify myself if I don’t remember a prayer or do somethng like make myself start all over if I lose my place, etc… I just want help prioritizing, that’s all. When I read the news, or look at the world around me, it seems there’s SOOOO much to do and so much to pray about, that it’s often overwhelming. Not in a negative way, but just…there’s a lot of sin and suffering. I hope it’s compassion moreso than scrupulocity. I sincerely didn’t mean to complain in this thread, I just want to get opinions on how to optomize my current interest (like combining lectio with LOH/LO). I have received some great suggestions…thank you.

I would also like to add that the whole reason I purchased the LOBVM was to redirect and narrow my focus toward Mary. I wear the Brown Scapular, and in renewing my consecration a while back, I just felt like there was more I could be doing to focus on her, particularly with the things going on in my life right now. While I am now dating someone, I very very frequently think about the religious life (after my son is raised). Often enough that I can’t deny the pull. Sort of been on the back of my mind since I was a kid. So I draw to Mary in hopes of direction.

i don’t agree with this. I feel that we who are out in the world need these prayers more than religios do.

If these extra devotions are interfering with our vocation of family and work, then we need to re-evaluate them. For example, if praying these devotional prayers takes you away from your children and your spouse, or if it causes you to steal time from your employer, then you have to choose your family and your work ahead of these, since our vocation is toward them; not towards these prayers.

i don’t agree with this either, except in certain situations. I mean, if you are neglecting necessary things (like feeding your children) then, you are right. To go pray when your children need you is a sin. But sometimes people refuse to EVER put God before their family members. I know many people who seem to do this. I used to do it myself. all humans tend to be like this. But if one puts God first, everything else will (one way or the other) fall into place. Jesus said that unless you “hate” (yes, he used that word) your family, your spouse, even your very self, you are not worthy of him. We HAVE to leave our loved ones some times and be alone with Jesus. For one thing, if we do that, we will be better parents, siblings, employees, etc… (unless we are persecuted for being a “Jesus Freak”, but oh well… Jesus said we must be willing to be persecuted for him

I would love to have your priest in our parish…

Fssp :wink:

I’m not saying that we don’t need to pray, or that we shouldn’t pray, but Religious have this as their vocation - they can pray 8-10 hours a day. For most of us, especially with children and jobs, half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening is often as much as we can do. We simply don’t have the time, after doing what we need to do for our employers and our families, to do the Rosary, the five hours of the Office of the BVM, the seven hours of the Divine Office, the Divine Mercy Chaplet, Lectio Divina, and a Novena. It’s simply more than is possible to do, for us as lay people. The person was asking, “How do we fit it all in,” and my answer is, we don’t - and don’t worry about it, because we are not required to do this.

Our vocation is to care for our families and to work. This is our main form of prayer every day - this is what we offer up to God. And when we have a moment or two here and there throughout the day, yes, obviously, we can talk to God in prayer. But it doesn’t have to be formal, or long.

I hope this clarifies. I am certainly not saying that lay people shouldn’t pray - just that we often don’t have the hours at a stretch to pray that Religious do, and that it’s okay. :slight_smile:

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

Congratulations!! :slight_smile: :smiley: :heart: :slight_smile: :smiley:

I do not think that you are praying too much, even though you are not a Religious… :slight_smile: If you look at the lives of some of our greatest saints, you see that they had exceptionally prayerful parents!

St. Therese of Liseux (also known as St. Therese of the Little Flower or St. Therese of the Child Jesus) is sometimes called “the greatest saint of modern times.” Her autobiography, *The Story of a Soul * is beautiful and illustrates her sanctity, as well as containing pearls of wisdom. Mother Theresa, allegedly named herself Mother Theresa after St. Therese of Liseux from the original name: Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, and her emphasis on doing little things with great love sounds AN INCREDIBLE AMOUNT like St. Therese of Liseux’s little way and St. Therese of Liseux quotations, if you read The Story of a Soul. On her death-bed, (she died of tuberculosis at 24), St. Therese is reported to have said, *“I have reached the point of not being able to suffer any more, because all suffering is sweet to me.” * She prayed a lot, being devoted to Mary in the way of True Devotion to Mary, (also practiced by His Holiness Pope John Paul II) by St. Louis Mary de Montfort - which strongly recommends the entire Rosary (of that time) daily, which is 15 decades a day in addition to other prayers such as the Little Crown of the Blessed Virgin.

Despite this, St. Louis Mary de Montfort writes.

**10. ** And yet in truth we must still say with the saints De Maria numquam satis: We have still not praised, exalted, honoured, loved, and served Mary adequately. She is worthy of even more praise, respect, love, and service.

Now, St. Therese of Liseux came from a highly religious family. Blessed Louis Martin was St. Therese of the Child Jesus’s father. He tried to become a monk due to his lack of knowledge of Latin and was rejected. Blessed Marie-Azelie Guerin Martin tried to become a nun but was turned away by the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul due to respiratory difficulties and recurrent headaches. They met each other and were married three months later. They initially led a celibate marriage for almost a year and then decided to have children: had five daughters who all became Carmelite nuns: Marie, Pauline, Leonie, Celine, and Therese (the youngest). Blessed Marie-Azelie Guerin Martin died while St. Therese of Liseux was still young.

There is at least one other well-known saint who followed True Devotion to Mary. Polish Saint Maximilian Maria studied philosophy, theology, mathematics, and physics as a college student, before earning a doctorate in philosophy and a doctorate in theology in Rome, while suffering from tuberculosis. He became a priest, changed his name to Maria from Kolbe to venerate the Immaculate Heart of Mary, sheltered 2,000 Jews in his friary during the Holocaust, and when taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp offered to die in place of another man since that man had family and he did not as an abstinent fiar. During his time in the cell, he led the men in songs and prayer. Finally, after three weeks of dehydration and starvation, he was injected with carbolic acid and died. He is reported on the Jewish Virtual Library as Righteous Among the Nations. It shows that no matter how dire the situation God can continue to strengthen us. jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/Kolbe.html He founded Slaves of the Immaculata, www.consecration.com Interestingly enough, the man whose place he gave up, survived the Holocaust.

Both of St. Maximilian Maria’s parents were Third Order Franciscans. (This is the order of religious life for lay people: single or married) St. Catherine of Siena was a Dominican tertiary: (Third Order Dominican - to the best of my horribly imperfect knowledge) which is why she lived at home while professing her orders. She is one of the 3 female Doctors of the Catholic Church.

Father Mateo Crawley-Boevey was an apostle of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus given to the world by the Sacred Heart of Jesus through revelations/apparitions given to St. Margaret Mary by the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He went to daily mass as a baby with his grandfather. suite101.com/article.cfm/catholic_christianity/7629

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

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