No time for my Faith - anybody else?


#1

I know if I post that I have no time for my faith people will resond with others (maybe saints) who say the rosary around the clock, or people who get up at 4-5AM to spend some time in prayer etc etc. Others might say it is the most important aspect of your life and you must “make” time for it.

I understand these words of advice/wisdom, I really do. But I feel my work keeps me from spending any real time contimplating my faith. I am simply way too busy either actually working, commuting to work, feverishly worrying about deadlines etc etc. My mind is constantly full of work related, deadline related issues.

I have heard people say the popular saying - “Nobody, on thier deathbed looks back upon thier life and says, I wish I worked more”. Well I agree with this saying, probably more then most. But I also take offense to it. If I do not work as hard/often as I do, I would lose my j ob (this has been proven to me personnaly over this latest economic downturn. I was on the threshold of losing my job but was sparred. If I had heeded the advice of those suggesting my priorities were warped and I worked too much, I’d have lost my job and be in a dire economic situation (with family suffering most). I am not a workaholic, I do it out of necessity ONLY. I’d quit or change careers tomorrow if possible.

I tried saying the rosary during my commute but found it completely impossible to concentrate. Before my company moved I used to take public transportation and read mountains of books about my faith. I haven’t read a book now in a few years. I have a 110 mile round trip communte through a major metropolitan city.

My other responsibilities take what is left of my time. There is still a lawn to cut,a house to maintain, family to spend time with and a wife who desires my time on weekends for social activity.

I minute or two before I go to sleep, a moment throughout the day is the best I can find for any prayer. And I feel it is artifiicial, sort of a obligatory farse and certainly recognized as such by our Lord.

I read many posts where people go to daily mass, recite a daily rosasary, read spiritual books. I can only wish I could do these things.

Anybody else feel this way? I am 52 and wish I were 65 such that I could have at least a little time to contimplate Gods creation and spend time with him. I am wishing my life away.


#2

Hi,

I hope you get more time back in your day to study your faith. You mentioned that you do find short bits of time to say a quick prayer. Keep doing that. :slight_smile:

Also, maybe try a little harder to find those free moments. And when you find yourself really worrying about dead lines and such, take a quick moment to say a Hail Mary or this Prayer:

The Memorare of St. Bernard:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to
thy protection, implored thy help, and sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee I come; before thee I stand sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but, in thy mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.

Maybe ask for more time to study before praying the Memorare. See what happens. :slight_smile:

– Cadian :knight1:


#3

It sounds like your spirituality still means something to you, so that’s good. And when it comes to those obligatory farce prayers you accuse yourself of, I’m the world’s worst! My prayer life is horribly inauthentic…but this thread is about you, not me, yet I hope you can be somewhat reassured that we all struggle with the spiritual life.

In what little time you have, I might suggest doing two things to keep yourself spiritually active and alive: Read the New Testament and Psalms and invest in a good copy of the Imitation of Christ. Even if you only read one paragraph out of each once every two weeks, you’d be doing your soul a lot of good.


#4

Just because it feels artificial, doesn’t mean that it is. I think Satan wants us to feel that way in the hopes that we will give up praying altogether. That you continue to offer up this spare minute or two even with these feelings of inauthenticity is no doubt meritorious in the eyes of the Lord. Do not doubt that. Keep praying for that couple of minutes.

Here’s an idea (and maybe you’ve already thought about it), but I think it’s important to pray together as a family. Thus you can kill two birds with one stone: spending time with God and spending time with family. :slight_smile: It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. It doesn’t have to be a fully rosary every day. It could be a Divine Mercy Chaplet or reading a few verses from Scripture or even a quick Our Father/Haily Mary/Glory Be. The important thing is to set a time. Designate 9:00pm as “family prayer time”. No matter what everyone is doing, gather at that time and pray, even if only for 5 minutes (or less).

Far be it from me to ascertain your spiritual life, but it seems like your big problem is one of distraction. You have trouble concentrating. That’s not an uncommon problem to have in prayer! We all have that problem. The important thing is to keep trying, even when it seems to be doing no good. In reality, that’s when it’s doing the most good. Because it is those times that you are choosing to pray out of love for God rather than for the benefits and consolation you will gain.

Since you have such a long daily commute, I would try to work with that time slot. If you’re no longer taking public transportation (or even if you are), try some audio books or Catholic podcasts. On the USCCB’s website, you can listen to the daily Mass readings. If you have an mp3 player, try dowloading those readings and listening to them on the way to or from work.

Going to daily Mass and spending an hour a day in Eucharistic Adoration is an awesome thing, but it’s not workable for everyone. Do the best with the time you have.


#5

Every little moment you give God, he will give you so much back! I can totally relate to feeling like you don’t have enough time. A simple thing to do is just offer up things for God each day. Tasks you hate, being charitable to someone who is nasty to you, etc.
Also, maybe get a few CD’s for the car on Catholic teaching, books, apologetics, even the Rosary (Fr. Benedict Groechel has a great one). You can even get little “daily” books with a quick scripture reading and a prayer for every day of the year.
Just having God on your mind, even when you are at work or feel “far away” from him can really carry you through the day.


#6

It’s good to remember that you can offer your work and the time you spend with your family as a prayer. When you get up in the morning, just offer your day to the Lord through the hands of our Lady. Just pray something simple like: “I am all yours, and all I have is yours, Lord Jesus, through Mary, thy Holy Mother”.

When you get ready to commute or to start work or to spend time with your family, say a Hail Mary and in that way you renew the consecration of your day through our Lady and you are asking her to help you grow closer to Jesus. Also try practicing the presence of God throughout the day. It doesn’t take a lot of time or long prayers. All it takes is just a thought, a reminder, that God is with you and no matter what you are doing you are always in His presence.

At the end of the day, when you have those few moments, examine your conscience and thank the Lord for His many blessings. And don’t worry about how it feels. The Lord looks at your good intentions, not the feelings that may or may not come with them.

I think if we can be faithful in these small ways, our Lord will give us greater grace and strength to take on more. God bless!


#7

Best advice ever!

Betsy


#8

This is indeed good advice here. I’d like to reiterate the commute ideas - whenever I go somewhere by myself of a half-hour or more, I get in a rosary and it’s very peaceful. Pretty sure I drive more safely too (stay in the right-hand lane and follow a slow car). I also use this time for reflection or for a Catholic lecture series (or sports talk, but that’s getting off topic).


#9

We all struggle finding time to love Jesus!

Start small, as was said earlier, start in the morning by praying and dedicating your day to the Lord!

Listen to beautiful Catholic music or inspirational Catholic CD’s while you drive or relax! (Danielle Rose’ Mysteries (daniellerose.com/pages/1/index.htm) CD is an incredibly beautiful, Devoutly Catholic and Scriptural, yet modern music to have playing in the background. It is soothing, inspirational and based on the Mysteries of the Rosary, so if you find it difficult to pray the Rosary, this is the next best thing which requires little or no effort.

Just open your heart and mind and soul to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, and He will give you the time you need to love and to worship Him!

Today’s Gospel tells us; "And he said to him, **“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Mt 22:37).
**
Quality, not quantity!

Jesus loves you and all He asks in return is that you love God the Father,the Son and the Holy Spirit and love your neighbor, the best that you can.

As my Father-in-law always says “It’s as simple as that!”

Sancta Maria, Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis Peccatoribus!

mark


#10

This is not meant to be snarky in the least - but… you found the time to post here! :wink:

I agree with some of the previous posts - your big problem is distraction. Keep in mind that sometimes prayer doesn’t have to be DOING anything. “Be still and know that I am God.” - just try to be still, only for a few minutes if that is all you can find. Don’t feel like you have to do or say anything - just spend a those few minutes in peace - God will be there waiting for you.

This may sound silly - but what do you think about in the shower? I find this to be a wonderful time to chat with Jesus about what’s going on in my life. Very informal, totally casual and free form. Sometimes I’ll just hum a hymn to myself - that can be a prayer as well.

I also suggest the MP3 option too - go to here: catholictelevision.org/index.php?nav=04

You will find tons of fantastic podcasts that you can download to a CD for your car, or your MP3 player. Most are only about 40 minutes, and some of the radio show segments are shorter than that. (The menu is on the left, which will take you to the lists of podcasts)

Most of all - take a deep breath. Step back and look at your day, not from inside it, but from outside - as if you were addressing a problem at work. How would you make this work if you were presented with the same project by your employer. How to structure your day to allow even five minutes to just breathe - be still and know that He is God.

God bless you for even being concerned about your prayer life! That is an awesome thing!! :thumbsup:

~Liza


#11

I’ve had some problems with this. You have a lunch hour, right? Pray, and read the bible, then.


#12

If his work day is anything like mine he’s eating a sandwich in one hand and replying to email with the other! :wink:

~Liza


#13

I knew someone would be a wiseguy/gal and bring that up. Funny, as I was posting I was thinking the same thing. :wink:

I think that is the key, a few minutes here and there.

Many many good suggestions, I thank you all.

–Mike


#14

Best advice I’ve heard on this issue: “Pray as you can, not as you cannot.”

You can’t make daily Mass, or fit the rosary into a safe drive (I can’t pray the rosary in the car either, I don’t think I’m concentrating on either thing). You can’t get up at 5:00am to recite the morning Angelus, or work in a good Examination of Conscience before bed.

That’s fine! Pray as you CAN. (And you don’t hear about people NOT doing these things because who’s going to come to Catholic Answers and say that? This site naturally draws people with a deep spirituality and, well, lots of free time. I’ll admit it)

So how can you pray? As others have said, offer your day to God before you start doing anything (in the shower? I love to pray in the shower). Squeeze in a short prayer when you think of it; “Jesus, Mary, Joseph, I love you! Save souls!”, “O’ Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!” “Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!” Short, what are called ‘ejaculations’ can be inserted into very short time and help sanctify your day (though they do require you to remember to say them!)

Which brings me to my next point - the alarm on your cell phone. Set it to two or three times a day, and say an ‘ejaculation’ right then, and move on. Set one of them to 3:00pm, in honor of the hour our Lord died. You’ll be amazed at how your outlook changes when you get a reminder in the middle of the afternoon that Christ died for your sins, and it doesn’t require you any more time then to shut off your alarm, thinking “Christ died for me at this hour.”


#15

My dear friend

Forive me for sayin this- I have no time for anything bar my faith, almost. I am not working much at present though. I may have a calling to come one day too. I understand what you say though. Have you thought about getting an ipod or mp3 player with the rosary, way of the cross, divine mercy chaplet etc on it? Maybe you can listen as you commute. Apart from that you can pray 24 / 7 if you want- just do Gods will and keep the presence of God always. All that your doing is Gods will, just do it all for Him and for love of Him. Even eating, sleeping, washing etc all becomes prayer this way - everything becomes prayer. We say we’ll do this in our morning offering. Being aware your in Gods presence and behaving appropriately is prayer too.

Work is very valuable prayer in Gods eyes. Turn it into prayer is all you have to do.

May God bless you with a spirit of prayer and piety:thumbsup::slight_smile:

John


#16

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