Something is always wrong?


#1

I often wonder if I serving the Lord correctly.

  1. I see people on this board pray the rosary regularly and/or attend adoration of the blessed sacrament regularly when I can’t even sit down for a half an hour and pray (let alone prayed a rosary). I do say the morning and evening prayers, petitions such as “Lord Jesus have mercy on me a sinner”, our fathers, hail marys, and glory be’s throughout the day, but is it effective?

  2. I try to read the daily scripture selections on the usccb site on a daily basis. At the same time, I’ve seen some people recomend reading for a half an hour, hour, etc.

  3. How am I supposed to learn the truth of the faith regularly?

  4. How am I supposed to know if I am loving God with all my heart?

That rant was shorter and less eloquent than I had expected. I must admit, every time I come to CA, I always feel like I’m guilty spiritual sloth or something like that. It seems that ever since easter, living according to the faith has become more and more difficult.


#2

Pray as you can, not as you can’t.

I once had a wise priest tell me that QUALITY of prayer is much more important than QUANTITY. And however it is that we pray, it is important to be faithful to it.

Don’t compare yourself to others.


#3

Echo what the previous poster said. Don’t compare yourself to anyone.

When reading Scripture, ask the Holy Spirit to be with you, to guide you, to comfort you & to help you understand.

Every morning when I get up, I ask the Lord to help me focus, concentrate & understand, to help me be motivated & apply myself. I’ve noticed an improvement in my work since I’ve started this prayer & in other areas of my life. Is everything perfect? No, not in the slightest but I’ve found God has helped me take gradual steps to areas in my life I need improvement on.

If you are not doing so already, try to attend a daily Mass if you can fit it into your schedule–it is the PERFECT prayer. The Church already has it availabe to you–all you have to do is show up,make yourself present to the Lord & participate in it!


#4

I was listing to the local Catholic radio station the other day, and they were interviewing a priest, Fr. Michael Scanlan, who wrote a book “Appointment With God” after he was asked by a group of busy executives who wanted to place God first and foremost in their lives but found they had no time for prayer. I can’t properly phrase here what was said, but basically I heard that if one were to set an appointment with God and pray for 5 minutes each morning that God will help make the day ahead be productive and ordered and complete then it will come about.


#5

Echoing what turtle said about daily Mass. I figured out how to fit it in before work, several years ago during Lent, and my life has not been the same since.


#6

Are your prayers effective? That’d be hard to judge but if you pray with real intention and not just to say them then I’d say that works. :thumbsup:

I agree that if you want the best prayer, then daily mass would be it. :smiley:

Reading scripture is good. Some people recommend at least 30 minutes because that’s one of the requirements for an indulgence if that’s something you wish to seek (do a quick search here in catholic.com on “indulgences” if you want to know more).

As for learning the faith, reading things here that are on subjects you want to know more about, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten you, and reading the Catechism of the Catholic Church are all good ways to grow in your faith. Personally I find that listening to Catholic Answers helps a lot too.

As for loving God, I can’t really answer that for you but if you give Him his proper place in your life (meaning above all else) then I’d say you’re doing great. Always find the time to pray and give thanks to Him each day, even if it’s just a little bit of your time.


#7

Perhaps these words of Dr. Peter Kreeft will encourage you:
***“I strongly suspect that if we saw all the difference even the tiniest of our prayers to God make, and all the people those little prayers were destined to affect, and all the consequences of those effects down through the centuries, we would be so paralyzed with awe at the power of prayer that we would be unable to get up off our knees for the rest of our lives.” ***
Source: Kreeft, Angels (and demons): What Do We Really Know About Them? p. 23

Ditto to what everyone else has said on not comparing yourself to others. Just do the best that you can and God will take care of the rest. Personal anecdote - I did not pray daily until about a year and a half ago. I started with just five minutes a day - and I watched the clock waiting for it to be over. I kept doing it, though, and over time I began to pray for longer periods, and before I knew it I was going to Mass one extra day a week, then two - now I go every day. God will take what little bit we offer Him, multiply it by grace and transform us over time. Don’t try to go all out reading 30 minutes of Scripture if you’re not there yet; you’re likely to become frustrated and give up. Just do what you can and let the Holy Spirit guide you into more reading, more prayer, etc. It will happen over time.

Until we reach perfection, none of us loves God with all our heart. But we can try to love Him as best as we can, by keeping His commands, the precepts of the Church, and praying regularly. He is the one who will transform our hearts until we are in union with Him.

Some reading you may find helpful:

Christian resignation (good info on the desire for Christian perfection)
Placing our growth in His hands
Getting Rid of “Inner Ugliness”


#8

One day, I was sitting in the cool darkness of a Catholic church … the only one there … and in a side door a priest came in wearing his black suit and carrying a bulging briefcase. He knelt on one knee before the tabernacle, made the sign of the cross, bowed his head, made another sign of the cross and then left by another door.


#9

When you do not have time for formal prayer, due to the circumstances of your life… your job… school… studies… or whatever… make a prayer of everything you DO during the day. Make every action… a prayer.

Offer to God… your work, each beat of your heart, each breath you take; Make a “prayer” out of each interaction with others, as Our Lord instructed us… “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31)

God bless you, dear soul.


#10

I’d like to thank everyone for the replies so far. Looking at my original post, I failed to mention that when I wrote that I couldn’t sit down to pray steadily, I meant that even when I have alone time or something like that, I find it hard to bring myself to concentrate and pray. Hence, the reason why I say the smaller prayers and petitions throughout the day.

I hope this doesn’t result in everyone reacting like: "well in that case, (insert scathing response)"
Once again, I am very grateful for all your replies.


#11

“Mr. B” No scathing responses… promise! :hug1: Formal prayer does take a certain amount of… well… “practice”… (for lack of a better way to say it). Some of us, do find it more difficult… for one reason, or another.

So, when a person finds formal prayer difficult… the offering of your day to day life to Our Lord, is a good alternative. But do try to say some short prayer in the morning… “Lord, I offer You my entire day”… or something along those lines. :slight_smile:

Hope this helps. God bless.


#12

Let me echo the “don’t compare yourself to others” mantra.

I do not believe God calls each of us in the same way. Heck, I don’t even believe he calls an individual the same way at different times in their life. What he expects of me now, as a grandmother, is far different than what he expected when I was raising young children. Jesus asked the “rich young man” to give away his wealth. Yet, it does not appear he requested the same of Lazarus or others who seem to have material abundance. Something else was asked of them. Something else is asked of you than is asked of another . . . try to discern what is asked and respond as best you can.


#13

Well in that case…:wink:

You know, distractions (and fighting them) are a part of prayer for most of us.

What beckycmarie said: God will take what little bit we offer Him, multiply it by grace and transform us over time.

Amen, sister! Much truth in that statement.

There was a time, not too long ago, when I didn’t pray every day, either. And I didn’t see any big problem with it. Then I started going to Mass a couple of times a week. Most of the “work” of prayer is done for you there. On the days when I couldn’t go Mass, I had to start filling in with my own prayers, because I missed that connection. It is all a work in progress.


#14

God can read your intentions. And even then, He will forgive you 70 times 70 times.

Make up your own prayer … for folks with a busy life.

Lord, Hold me in Your Arms. Carry me. Forgive me my sins. Make me the way You want me to be. Get me through this next day/ hour/ minute/ surgery/ exam … Right now, there is someone out there whose back is against the wall … so please take care also of whoever needs it the most, this minute.

Holy Spirit, please give me direction and guidance. And cash flow and work.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

Pray when you’re waiting at a traffic light. Say a Hail Mary. And say a Hail Mary when you’re on a check out line at the supermarket or at Home Depot. And if you’re in the “throne room”, say some Hail Mary’s there also.


#15

When we look at others, we’ll always find something about them greater than ourselves.

Comparing myself to you, for example, I’m jealous that you remember to pray throughout the day. I never can. I also always forget to pray in the morning, which I wish I could. I never get up early enough for Daily Mass (or, if I do, can’t get myself together in time). I once prayed the rosary daily - now I try to get through a decade before I fall asleep.

I like the quote “Pray as you can, not as you can’t”. You’re fully obeying our Lord’s commands to “pray without ceasing”. I suspect you’re over analyzing a lot of your spiritual life.

I get that way sometimes. “How do I know I’m doing enough? How do I know if I prayed that prayer devoutly enough? How do I know if I truly believe? How do I know if I truly love God?”

Then, I do something I took from C. S. Lewis - I laugh and move on. After all “How do all these questions help?” Do what you can, for God, and the rest will take care of itself.


#16

One’s heart can be considered one’s will. . if one is using one’s will to the best of its capacity, that is not only in mere effort though this is important, but in discriminating how one is to apply it to the best long term effect, one is then doing one’s best.

Penance is always helpful, for justice and merit.

To know the will of the Lord, read the writings of the saints, so you will think like they do: they did the will of the Lord correctly.

It is also a most enjoyable task.


#17

All your little prayers will add up at the end of the Day.:smiley:

angelfire.com/ca3/rafaelmarie/ThePieta/athepieta.html
catholicfreeshipping.com/Products/cfs_gensym-154.html


#18

As one of my friends likes to say, “You’re unique … just like everybody else.”

Each of us has a different daily routine.

And, I have to confess, it took decades for me to learn to pray a lot.

So, what is needed is not envy at others’ ability to pray, but … decades of practice, practice, practice … and failure, failure, failure, … and getting back and continuing to practice imperfectly, practice imperfectly, practice imperfectly.

When you’re in a supermarket line and you see the tabloids with pictures of anorexic movie stars or terrible gossip, say a prayer for them and for the writers.

When you see someone doing something really stupid … reckless driving … or reckless jaywalking … say a prayer for them … Ask your Guardian Angel to work with their Guardian Angel.

Get into the habit … start a good habit … of praying all the time … One of my priest friends said he prayed while driving, but then would get preoccupied with actually driving the car … and would stop praying.

If you fall asleep while praying, that’s fabulous. The last thing on your lips and/or in your mind was a prayer. Keep the rosary in your hand … so that when you wake up, you will be reminded to resume praying.


#19

And, please remember that love is not a feeling! Applying your will and having the desire to love God is a gift in itself, and you have demonstrated that. To love with the will without feelings strengthens your faith!


#20

Many thanks to everyone who replied! I’m feeling somewhat better now.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.