Greetings from Ave Maria, Florida!
FOCUS New Staff Training has been a blast! It’s been a two week grace bomb from God for us all, with so many new friends to meet, things to learn, and things to do! During the week, we literally have our schedules from 8 in the morning to 10 at night filled for most days. It’s insane. We basically have no time to relax, so I’ve had to be very careful to schedule sleep into my day… because I got sick when I didn’t!
I’m really excited our daily holy hour, which I’ll be doing for the next two years as a missionary. I’ve only been doing it for about a couple of weeks now, but it’s already been a fantastic part of my daily schedule! I’ve had an active prayer life especially since the end of high school, but I’ve never committed to a daily holy hour before. During it I do some mental and contemplative prayer as well as reading some scripture and a spiritual book in between segments of prayer. It’s usually in the morning, which is a great way to start off my day and helps me to keep Jesus in the forefront of my mind for the rest of the day. We also have daily mass, but I’ve pretty much been doing that for the past few years, so that’s not as much of a change. With both, it’s been important to get enough sleep, because when I’m tired or sick, it’s really hard to have fruitful times of prayer.
The liturgy of the hours is another way to live a more ordered life. They are prayers that are said at certain parts of the day, morning, noon, evening, and night. The Apostles themselves followed this Jewish custom as you can see in the book of Acts (10:3,9; 16:25, etc.). I can tell that there is a lot of wisdom in this because of my experience that the more that I pray during the day, the more open and aware that I am for the rest of the day of God’s presence.
In addition, I’m finding ways to remind myself of God’s presence through the rest of my day so that I can make room for silence in the midst of all the hustle and bustle- for me, just putting my hand over where my scapular is is a good reminder, maybe some of you have a similar experience with a cross or ring. When we feel inclined to pray, take that opportunity! Don’t let those opportunities pass!
How we live our days is how we live our lives, so make sure to find time to make Jesus not just a part of your life, but the center of it.