Let me explain.
I’m always Christian, yes, but how do I stay in practice of it?
I mean, I get into these moods where I want to study beliefs and chat about Christianity and pray…then I get distracted or something, and it all fades away for a while.
Then it happens again!
I don’t want it to just be a mood, I want to stay this peaceful and with God…any advice?
Let me explain.
Hi, Belle777! Welcome!
It’s never a good idea to base your spiritual life on your feelings and moods, so you need something to be an anchor for you. I would suggest a simple daily plan that includes some prayer and some spiritual reading that you never, ever skip. If you want to add to it when the mood strikes, that’s great, but if the mood is fading, at least you still have contact with God.
Maybe something like this:
First thing - Morning Offering - offer your whole day to God using one of the traditional prayers for this purpose
Last thing before bed - brief examination of conscience and Act of Contrition
In between, according to your schedule - some vocal prayers, such as the Rosary or the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, or prayers for your own special intentions. Prayers for the Pope. A few minutes of quiet prayer in your own words, leaving time to listen to God. Five minutes reading the New Testament. Fifteen minutes reading some other spiritual book.
If and when you can - daily Mass, a visit to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament during the day if you live or work near a church that’s unlocked.
Every month or more often if you wish or need - Confession
Of course, Sunday and holy day Mass.
Another lovely and helpful thing is the Magnificat magazine. It has morning and evening prayer for every day, the prayers and readings for Mass and some other readings for each day. It’s a great way to pray with the whole Church, even though it’s not the official Liturgy of the Hours.
The important thing is not how much you do. And you should start small, so as to avoid giving up in frustration when the mood fades. The important thing is being absolutely faithful to your plan, no matter how small it is. When you are totally committed to one or two elements of the plan, add one more until that becomes second nature. Then you won’t get overwhelmed. Keep adding until you are doing all that you want to do every day.
You might want to go over your plan with the priest in Confession some time. They can be quite helpful, too.
God bless you for wanting to do the right thing!
I’m a very disorganized person.
Unless I’m directed, I have trouble doing things.
However, that magazine sounds like it could help.
But, yes, I shouldn’t base it on moods.
I should simply turn it into a habit.
Yes, a LITTLE BIT at a time. I’ve heard it takes 21 days to form a habit. Pick one thing from the list and do it for 21 days or until you wouldn’t dream of not doing it. Then add one more for the next 21 days. God is patient and knows you better than you know yourself. He’ll wait while you work on it.
Ah, that sounds good.
Just a little bit at a time!
You seem like a nice person, I appreciate the advice.
Try the Liturgy of the Hours. I suggest the Christian Prayer 1 volume instead of the 4 volume set for beginners.
My free advice (and that may what it’s worth) :o SILENCE is the key. Minimize your TV watching time & turn the radio/stereo, CD player, whatever off at least some of the time. That way you can listen to that gentle voice. Distractions like the noise thats all around us can make it very tough.
A little story. I’m in sales and was having a tough time with the numbers. After driving a distance, about an hour to my first call, I realized I left my computer at home so I had to turn around and drive back home basically ruining my entire morning. I was mad & just turned off the radio had it quiet in my car & said pretty much “OK God, what about it…”
Well through the silence I realized that God comes to us in his humilty & I had been humbled for sure. That was my peace. I never would have found it by having the radio on full blast. I’m much more intuned or maybe I should say, I work much harder at listening now which has been a big help.
As I write this I just now turned off the TV, see I don’t always follow my own advice, & now need to say my rosary.
Alrighty, here’s the plan…
Wake up - thank God for the new day, ask for guidance
Before meals and stuff like that - thank God for it!
Before sleep - concentrate on deep prayer and ask God for forgiveness for any sins I’ve committed that day
Is that too much?
I’ll start simple, short but meaningful prayers each time, and see where that goes.
It’s a great start, Belle777. When it’s as natural as breathing, take another step.
I think Father Corapi said it best when he compared prayer and spirituality to military boot camp. In the military you can’t tell the sargent that you just don’t feel like training or that you are too tired to go on a run. Similarly, prayer is our spiritual training and sometimes we have to suck it up and do it despite the fact that we don’t want to.
There are times when I don’t feel like praying, but I do it anyways. I don’t get that same spiritual high that I would otherwise get when I’m in the right mood, but at least I keep the spiritual inertia going. I will have good days and bad days, but I try not to have any gaps in my praying. I know that if I stop then trying to get back to that “good point” will be that much harder.
I wonder what you mean by “it fades away for awhile”? Do you mean to say that you find you quit thinking about God and the spiritual life for a few hours or couple of days then gradually return back? Or is the “awhile” much longer with much more dire consequences?
If you’re not thinking about God during every waking moment, that’s completely normal and human. It’s spiritually healthy too.
Try to make time for God, though, by setting aside an hour to recite some prayers, devotions, or just sit in silence, as others have recommended.
I agree with the other posters. Find something you will be willing to do every day and make it a habit. I’m actually glad you asked this question because I’ve been going through some spiritual dryness myself lately. I’ve had these periods before and I’ve pulled out of them, so I think it’s part of the process. Perhaps it’s like a plateau period in dieting where the weight doesn’t come off as quickly anymore, but you know you have to keep up with the diet and exercise to maintain. The rosary has been my lifeline. I also like Magnificat because it’s very portable and gives not only daily prayers but the daily readings for the mass. God bless and keep plugging away at it!
I’m basically worried about the ‘not praying’ part of myself.
Trying to get myself to pray more and go to church, without overwhelming myself.
And I woke up, thanked God for the day and asked for guidance!
Though when I ate two times today, I kept forgetting to thank God before the meal.
It’d be fifteen minutes later I’d go ‘oh shoot’ and say a little ‘thank you’ prayer.
Well, at least it’s getting done…
One thing which is good to keep in mind is that it’s the intention which matters, not the actual act.
So, if you intend to say grace before a meal, but forget, don’t stress too much. Plus, the little ‘thank you’ prayers you say once you realize that you’ve forgotten probably mean much more to God than if you were to systematically say grace with no actual thanks!
Ah, thanks for that, I feel great now. ^^