June 01, 2016

1. Start Your Day With Prayer, Your Bible, and a Talk With Your Mother (Mother Mary, that is)

I'm following up on my previous blog entry, so let's get started.

Reminder: 8 Things Every Catholic Should Be Doing Every Day is of the theme, "Back to Basics," at least in my discernment. Venturing down that pathway, we attempt to strengthen our love for God by resetting our compasses in an attempt to get closer to Him. Because we are humans, it is a meager attempt, but God will augment our efforts.

The approach embraces the gradual inclusion of new practices, so we stay enthused about our mission. It is a reminder that the "8 Things" and the "Back to Basics" theme are acts of love. Here is suggestion #1:

1. Start your day with prayer, your Bible, and a talk with your Mother, i.e., our Mother 

     Every day is a new opportunity to seek God's will - so that we may carry it out. 
     An effective way of doing both is this morning ritual. 

     I do parts of this already, but I need some tuning up. That means, if I want to grow 
     closer to God, I need to improve my discipline. I need to follow through on my 
     commitment to start the day with prayer. When I do follow my discipline, I usually 
     say 1 of 2 prayers, or both. 1) St. Ignatius of Loyola's "Suscipe."

Lord Jesus Christ, please take all my freedom,
my memory, my understanding, and my will.
All that I have and cherish,
you have given me.
I surrender it all to be guided by Your will.
Your love and Your grace
are wealth enough for me.
Give me these, Lord Jesus,
and I ask for nothing more.

     Or, 2) The Third Step Prayer In 12-Step Programs

And I add, "through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen."

     The Holy Spirit will guide you in developing your own routine with the prayers that draw 
     you closest to God. As always happens in the spiritual life, you may eventually change 
     those prayers.

     Last year, I decided I wanted to read the whole Bible, not necessarily the Commentary
     and other reading that helps bring further enlightenment, but at least the Bible itself.
     I was going to read it chronologically, by chapter anyhow. I started out reading it in the 
     morning, like this suggestion suggests, then I found myself slipping and trying to 
     read it before bed. Let's just say, I need to regroup and try again.

     I love having Mary as my spiritual mother. Of course, she fills in for all the deficiencies 
     of my mother here on earth, who I also love and miss. She passed away 2-1/2 years
     ago. I sometimes pray/talk with Mary in the morning, but it has not been a discipline of 
     mine. I usually connect with her later in the day, on a whim.  I like the idea of regularly 
     checking in with her first thing.  I am going to give it a try - sometime soon.

Please pray that I find the fortitude to persevere and strengthen my relationship with God. 
I pray the same for all of you. +

Next Blog Entry - Suggestion #2. Smile, Use Your Manners, Be Kind, Give Out Hugs

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