Guilt over not saying enough prayers


#1

Is it normal/reasonable to feel guilty when I don’t say “enough” prayers during the day? I suppose I should first say that I firmly believe in prayer and have had numerous prayers answered. Here’s my situation:

I have certain prayers that I say every day:
Chaplet of Angels/St. Michael
Prayer to Guardian Angel
Act of Contrition
Act of Perfect Contrition
Memorare
Rosary (5 decades - whatever the mysterys for that day are)
Chaplet of Divine Mercy
St. Bridget Prayers (the ones you say daily for 12 years - I’m at about 1 1/2 years)
Prayers for my deceased Mom (5 Apostle’s Creed, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Requiem)
7 Hail Mary’s for 7 Sorrows of Mary
Prayer to Defeat the Work of Satan
Prayer to St. Joseph
Prayer to the Shoulder Wound of Christ

In addition to these I will offer up short prayers during the day depending on what is going on in my life - praying for other people etc.

Most days I don’t have a problem completing all these prayers, although I notice I have better days (able to handle frustration/problems better) when I complete them early in the day. The problem is the days when I don’t finish all my prayers - I feel very guilty and then worry that God will allow something bad to happen to me because of this. In my head I know that God doesn’t work like that and I realize that God would probably prefer quality over quantity, but I wouldn’t know which prayers to not say because I have reasons for saying each of these. (For example, how could I not say the prayers for my Mom - I would feel horrible if she was in purgatory and needed my prayers and I was “too busy” to say them.)

Sorry this is so long, but has anyone else experienced this or am I alone in my neuroses:blush: :wink: :confused:

(P.S. I do not have any other tendencies like this in any other aspect of my life (I had wondered if I had mild OCD, but I genuinely don’t think so.)


#2

Hi Jay. It sounds like you have a bit of scruples. Try not to be so hard on yourself.

Like you, I tend to say a lot of those prayers each day. But I’ve learned not to beat up on myself, if for some reason… I can’t say this prayer, or that prayer.

Today for example, I’m sick. I’ve got a bad cold and just not feeling too well. So… I cut back on some of my morning prayers. I will get back to them… once I’m feeling a little better.

Our Lord is so Merciful and understanding. And He loves you SO MUCH! He isn’t One to be standing over us, with a “whip” ready to beat us into submission. He knows the depths of our hearts… and is pleased, when we try. But He also knows our human weakness and frailty.

Perhaps, when you’re unable to say the formal prayers… you can just try having a heart to Heart chat with Our Lord. Tell Him about your day, about your hopes and dreams, about your fears, even. And tell Him that you love Him. That type of prayer is every bit as pleasing (if not more so) to Him.

God bless you.


#3

Thank you for your response. I just don’t know how to get over the guilt and the worry that something bad will happen. I experience the same thing when I think about not going to a week day Mass - I usually go to 6:30 AM Mass at a local parish (not my regular one) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If I have a legitimate reason for not being able to go I don’t worry about it, but if I wake up and think “I’m tired, I could use another hour or two of sleep”, I then think that it’s Satan putting those thoughts in my head trying to keep me from going. That’s usually enough to get my butt out of bed and I’m always happy after I’ve gone to Mass.:shrug:


#4

Well, certainly… the devil will do anything in its power to get us “off track”.

But, in the case of your daily prayer schedule… I would tend to go with the Mercy of Jesus. Offer Him your fatigue… (or whatever is preventing you from prayer); and then, try to get back to it… when you can. I wouldn’t feel guilty about it, though. Especially if you have a good reason. Like… today, I feel I had a good reason for cutting back on prayer. I’m sick.

Sunday Mass… on the other hand. That’s different. The ONLY reason we should miss Mass… is because we’re sick, or caring for someone who is sick, etc. To just lie in bed on Sunday morning, because you’re tired… that’s not a good enough reason to miss Mass.

But it sounds like you already know that. :thumbsup:


#5

I will try your suggestion about having a “heart to heart” with Jesus, sometimes I think I try to “talk” too much and not listen to what God is trying to tell me.

And yes, I do know that about Sunday Mass :slight_smile: - that’s never an issue (I gave birth to my 3rd son on a Sunday morning at 4 AM and my husband and I watched the TV Mass in my hospital room since we knew we wouldn’t make it to church), it’s only the weekday Masses that aren’t “required” that I consider skipping.:slight_smile:


#6

I do have a similar problem. Like you, I have certain prayers
that I pray daily and also attend daily mass. For me, though,
my issue is not what I pray, but that I must pray for one hour.
It is like medicine for me and without exception, if I ever become
angry or worried over anything, I have not completed my hour.

I do feel guilty if the reason is that I have overslept or even watched five minutes of the morning news. That is five minutes
I could have prayed. I don’t feel scrupulous or wrong about this
because I have experienced the proper dosage of prayer for me.
My feeling guilty is not a problem because it makes me pray.


#7

Compared to me, (and maybe to most) you are a living saint. Although I try to pray whenever I remember, all too often I am too busy or simply forget. Many times, I find myself thinking at night that I said very few prayers during that particular day. This is particular true if I have a busy day from start to finish.

We all need to pray more but if you can complete some or most of what you have listed I think you are way ahead of a lot of folks.

IF I could get a Rosary in every day I would far ahead of where I’m at now. Some days, it seems all I can say is, Jesus I adore you or Jesus have mecy on us.


#8

Don’t treat God like a prayer vending machine,
i.e. X-number of prayers in = X number of graces obtained.

Prayer is an act of love.

It is relational, in that we come to the presence of God, who dwells within us, to share in His love.

Jim


#9

That sounds more like voodoo than Christianity. Praying without feeling like praying is called penance. If you want to do penance that’s fine, but realize that that’s what you are doing. People that are closer to God feel like praying all day long, but praying all day long doesn’t automatically bring you closer to God. If your praying routine takes you a half hour, maybe spending that half hour with an old and lonely neighbor would bring you closer to God.

If you believe that spending that half hour saying the Lord’s prayer would not be as “effective” as saying all those different prayers, you might be at risk of idolatry.


#10

If you start to feel worried about missing certain parts of your prayer routine I think you should get a spiritual director. He/she can help you with your concerns. Remember that the rote prayers you have outlined are just the beginning of spirituality; a bit like paddling in the shallows. The conversations you have with God from your heart is the next step. A sound spiritual director will be able to help you deepen your prayer life.


#11

*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.

I too feel as if something bad will happen to me if I don’t pray. In fact, two very bad things have happened to me, and I attribute them to not attending Daily Mass (at one time Mass period) and praying hard (the Most Holy Rosary). It is not so much that I believe that the bad thing happens because I do not pray, because I deserve to have ups and downs in life just like anyone else. It is more so that I believe that my prayers and Daily Mass are like ammunition or extra defense that strengthen me to do things beyond my capability, and when I do not have that strength from the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary and I overreach or am tempted - I fall and can fall hard - but when I am strengthened by divine intercession, I stand beyond my own personal ability to do so.

For example, my day tends to go much better - happier and more productive - if I start will my morning regime of full and complete Most Holy Rosary and Daily Mass.

I read the book True Devotion to Mary, and I think that what I am experiencing was written about there. I will post excerpts from that book now:

** 5. It leads to union with our Lord ** **152. ** This devotion is a smooth, short, perfect and sure way of attaning union with our Lord, in which Christian perfection consists.

  1. This devotion is a smooth way. It is the path which Jesus Christ opened up in coming to us and in which there is no obstruction to prevent our reaching him. It is quite true that we can attain to divine union by other roads, but these involve many more crosses and exceptional setbacks and many difficulties that we cannot easily overcome. We would have to pass through spiritual darkness, engage in struggles for which we are not prepared, endure bitter agonies, scale precipitous mountains, tread upon painful thorns, and cross frightful deserts. But when we take the path of Mary, we walk smoothly and calmly.

It is true that on our way we have hard battles to fight and serious obstacles to overcome, but Mary, our Mother and Queen, *stays close to her faithful servants. * She is always at hand to brighten their darkness, clear away their doubts, strengthen them in their fears, sustain them in their combats and trials. Truly, in comparison with other ways, this virgin road to Jesus is a path of roses and sweet delights. There have been some saints, not very many, such as St. Ephrem, St. John Damascene, St. Bernard, St. Bernardine, St. Bonaventure and St. Francis de Sales, who have taken this smooth path to Jesus Christ, because the Holy Spirit, the faithful Spouse of Mary, made it known to them by a special grace. The other saints, who are the greater number, while having a devotion to Mary, either did not enter or did not go far along this path. **That is why they had to undergo harder and more dangerous trials. **

** 153. ** Why is it then, a servant of Mary might ask, that devoted servants of this good Mother are called upon to suffer much more than those who serve her less generously? They are opposed, persecuted, slandered, and treated with intolerance. They may also have to walk in interior darkness and through spiritual deserts without being given from heaven a single drop of the dew of consolation. If this devotion to the Blessed Virgin makes the path to Jesus smoother, how can we explain why Mary’s loyal servants are so ill-treated?

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. *


#12

*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.

** 154. ** I reply that it is quite true that the most faithful servants of the Blessed Virgin, being her greatest favourites, receive from her the best graces and favours from heaven, which are crosses. **But I maintain too that these servants of Mary bear their crosses with greater ease and gain more merit and glory. **What could check another’s progress a thousand times over, or possibly bring about his downfall, does not balk them at all, but even helps them on their way. For this good Mother, filled with the grace and unction of the Holy Spirit, dips all the crosses she prepares for them in the honey of her maternal sweetness and the unction of pure love. Then they readily swallow them as they would sugared almonds, though the crosses may be very bitter. I believe that anyone who wishes to be devout and live piously in Jesus will suffer persecution and will have a daily cross to carry. But he will never manage to carry a heavy cross, or carry it joyfully and perseveringly, without a trusting devotion to Our Lady, who is the very sweetness of the cross. It is obvious that a person could not keep on eating without great effort unripe fruit which has not been sweetened.

I think that I believe that when I pray often, hard, and with devotion to the best of my ability I go back in a sense to the Garden of Eden. I am tempted to stop my prayers because I can’t seem the harm, but once I leave the Garden of Eden and go to Earth - I will still eat, but with additional hardship. Remember, its all spiritual warfare.

St. Padre Pio, who said, “The Rosary is The WEAPON”, said as many as 90 rosaries a day in a special form for which he received ecclesiastical permission. Father Thomas Euteneur, President of Human Life International, cites this in The Rosary Batters the Gates of Hell hli.org/sl_2008-10-03.html

He also said: *“The one who prays a lot saves himself. The one who prays little is in danger. The one who does not pray loses his soul.” * St. Padre Pio

From the Bible: “Pray always.” ** (1 Thessalonians 5:17). ** Think about the First Sorrowful Mystery: The Agony in the Garden. If you don’t want to fall asleep like the disciples and want to stay with the Sacred Heart of Jesus at the Cross, you need divine help, grace. As the Sacred Heart of Jesus said, **"Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Could you not keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”(Mark 14:37-38) ** Who better to ask it from than the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mediatrix of all graces?

I would recommend knowing more about the prayers that you are saying. Why has the Immaculate Heart of Mary told us to say the Most Holy Rosary so often, sending the great sign at Fatima, and called herself Queen of the Rosary? Why are the seven sorrows of the Immaculate Heart of Mary so important? Can you do anything to enhance the power of these prayers or the sweetness/love in your heart while you say them - such as praying them while at Eucharistic Adoration or learning ways to make the prayers sweeter? Are some of the same promises given to multiple prayers?

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. *


#13

*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.

St. Louis Mary de Montfort wrote, The Secret of the Rosary, which explains the origin and name, prayers, mysteries, marvelous effects, proper dispositions, ways to combat distractions and pray the Rosary effectively, and Confraternities (so you can have the benefit of other people’s Rosaries as well) of the Most Holy Rosary.

Someone once wrote of this book, *“Possibly the finest book ever written about the Rosary; appeals to all ages. Shows the great spiritual power of the Rosary, which is appreciated by few.” *Pope John Paul II was also consecrated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the method of St. Louis Mary de Montfort. St. Padre Pio, who said, “The Rosary is The WEAPON”, said as many as 90 rosaries a day in a special form for which he received ecclesiastical permission. Father Thomas Euteneur, President of Human Life International, cites this in The Rosary Batters the Gates of Hell hli.org/sl_2008-10-03.html

Saint Louis Mary de Montfort also wrote True Devotion to Mary. The wonderful thing about this devotion is that you cannot get any less from the Immaculate Heart of Mary than you are already getting. If you consecrate yourself 100% to her, she is not a stingy mother to give you less blessings than you would have gotten with a smaller devotion. Rest assured, this devotion has been followed by quite a few saints, including St. Therese of Liseux, called by some “the greatest saint of modern times” and St. Maximilian Maria - he has an amazing story and I will post it if you want to read it. It was also followed by His Holiness Pope John Paul II.

Finally, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will give you numerous graces for free, and will imbue you with a love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus that will make your prayer life more sweet and less obligatory.

Free information on almost all I know on devoting oneself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary:
Pereptual online Adoration of the Sacred Heart of Jesus louisville-catholic.net/WebCameras/AdorationChapel/tabid/825/Default.aspx
** 2. **True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin montfort.org.uk/Writings/TrueDev.html
**1. ****Secret of the Rosary ** montfort.org.uk/Writings/Rosary.html
Preparation for 33 day consecration to the Blessed Virgin saintlouisdemontfort.com/consecration.cfm
Reflections on True Devotion to Mary by His Holiness Pope John Paul II http://www.michaeljournal.org/montfort.htm
**The Glories of Mary, ** by St. Alphonsus de Liguori, one of the 33 Doctors of the Catholic Church, explains Hail Holy Queen http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/glories.htm
Marialis Cultus (Apostolic Exhortation for the Right Ordering and Development of Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary of His Holiness, February 2, 1974 by His Holiness Pope Paul VI ewtn.com/library/PAPALDOC/P6MARIAL.HTM
**3. **Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus en.wikisource.org/wiki/Devotion_to_the_Sacred_Heart_of_Jesus#FIRST_POINT._.E2.80.94_The_ardent_desire_Jesus_Christ_feels_to_be_with_us.
Divine Mercy Chaplet ewtn.com/Devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm
Abandonment to Divine Providence catholictreasury.info/books/abandon/index.php by Father Jean Pierre de la Caussade, the spiritual director of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, she who revealed to us the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus after apparitions/revelations from the Sacred Heart of Jesus himself
Cathechism of the Catholic Church vatican.va/archive/catechism/ccc_toc.htm

If you only read 3, maybe read 1,2,3 in that order :wink: Anyone devoted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is also devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus - she will lead you to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. That is what she does!! But Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is a powerful read to learn more on how to love the Sacred Heart of Jesus immensely :slight_smile:

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. *


#14

Thank you AveSantaMaria for your advice - I will check out those websites. I appreciate your help!:slight_smile:


#15

*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.

I read for the first time, possibly because of your post, a writing by St. Alphonsus de Liguori (one of the 33 Doctors of the Church), on the Seven Dolors (Sorrows) of Mary. Very touching. :blush:

writer.zoho.com/public/immaculate/Seven-dolors

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. *


#16

I read this post while looking up “guilt” and I too feel the same way you do at times. But we must remember that we are not trying to earn heaven. We cannot do so many works in order that God will like us or be nice to us. He already loves us. We have faith in Christ and that is what saves us. When we meet Jesus in heaven we may be sad because of all the things that we could have done better. But when we go to the confessional all of our sins are forgiven and forgotten by God. It is true that we should spend a balenced amount of time in prayer and pray for our mother and father but not saying enough prayers in not a sin so no guilt should be felt. It is ok you are doing just fine. :slight_smile:


#17

My dear friend

Prayer can take many forms, not just vocal prayers and devotions. It’s good to have a spirit of freedom and do it out of love for God and not because you have to. I’m not saying this is the case here. What God wants is your love. Whatever you do do it as an expression of love to and for God and it’s prayer. This way washing dishes, eating, making lunch, cleaning, work and even sleep can be turned into prayer. Over time you can learn to pray all the time regardless of specific devotions. I am not knocking these devotions though. They are very important. I hope this helps.

God bless and peace to you:thumbsup::slight_smile:


#18

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