I would like a deeper relationship with God and I have a couple of questions.
First is prayer. I find that Lectio Divina, the rosary and other forms of structured prayer are very helpful. In a lot of ways my protestant friends seem to have a closer relationship with God, and pray only extemporaneously. When I try to do this, my mind wanders, unless I’m talking out loud. But it does seem like a close relationship would involve informal conversation, as well as silence, so I don’t know if my mind isn’t disciplined or if there’s something I need to do differently or is some “wool gathering” inevitable.
Second question is about confession. I go to confession once a month. I try to do an examination of conscience at the end of the day, and I’ve looked at many examination lists online, but I usually can’t come up with much. I’m sure there is stuff I’m doing/not doing that displeases God, but I’m just not aware of it, like a fish isn’t aware of their water. If I go to confession frequently and I’m confessing only venial sins, can I just say I’m prideful and selfish, but I’m not exactly sure how? That seems like a waste of the priest’s time. If you go to confession frequently, like once a week, what do you do, and how did you become more aware of your sin?
Third question is about thankfulness. How can I be more aware of all my blessings and worship God more in this way? I try to tell God thank you frequently. I have so much, but I want to appreciate it more, and especially for spiritual blessings, like heaven, if I make it.
Also, any other tips you have about a deeper relationship with God is appreciated. Thanks.