A new year is upon us, but not only that, Lent is also just around the corner. It's a time of renewal for all Christians, a time to grow and to fall deeper in love with Jesus Christ, and to commit more fully to living our Baptismal call.
But how do we do that? The first step is of course prayer.
Here are a few of our favorites:
1. Pick a patron saint to grow closer with this year.
The saints in Heaven are great models for our lives and they make excellent intercessors since they already are in Heaven with our Lord. Start by asking the Lord to send you a saint, but if you need some extra help check out this saint name generator.
2. The Jesus Prayer
This prayer is an ancient one and is said as a type of litany meant to permeate our very being through slow, thoughtful repititons. The words are as follows:
“Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”
3. A prayer walk
As you walk through your neighborhood prayer for the different people you pass, the homes on each street. Often I will pray a Rosary as I walk. Think of it like marking our the boundaries of God's Kingdom.
No Catholic prayer list would be complete without fasting. Whether it is the classic fasting from food or a fast from technology, social media or music, fasting is an important discipline to develop. Offer up this fasting for a particular person or cause to give it added significance and trust in God to carry you through it.
5. The Litany of Humility
Pride is one of the worst sins and the most insidious of struggles. The antidote is not to think less of ourselves though, but rather to think of others more. This is what the Litany of Humility is for. Check it out here.
6. Meet a friend for a Prayer Date and pray with one another.
Prayer while personal is never purely individual, it always involves others. As Dominicans we are always praying with one another and so we encourage you to do the same. Meet up with someone for coffee or tea and prayer with them for their intentions or for the needs of others.
7. Pray for priests and others in religious life.
Priests and religious can often seem like they have it all together, but they need prayer as much as others. sometimes even more. Offer up prayers for your priests and for the religious you know. We do not get to Heaven by ourselves, we need each other to support us and to ask God for his help.
8. The Memorare (or an “flying novena” of nine Memorares).
The Memorare is a beautiful prayer and in a pinch it can also serve as an express or flying novena. This prayer was a favorite of St. Mother Teresa's and should be ours as well.
Go to Adoration. Sit with the Lord and delight in His presence. Imagine the experience of Moses at the Burning Bush. The sure knowledge that he stands on holy ground. We get that every time we go to Adoration, every time we sit, kneel, or stand in the Presence of the Lord. We are blessed indeed.
10. Consecration to Jesus through Mary
There is no more sure guide or more excellent model for our Christian lives than Mary, the Mother of God. This act of devotion is considered one of the shortest paths to Heaven and the Dominican theologian Garrigou-Lagrange considered it the highest form of Marian devotion possible.
There are many methods and models of Marian Consecration. One of our favorites is 33 Days to Morning Glory which uses the lives of 4 different saints to help us enter more deeply into Mary's own love for her Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Dominican Friars of St. Louis, MO
The Dominican Friars living at St. Dominic Priory in St. Louis, MO are members of both the Central U.S. Province and the Southern U.S. Province. Our student friars go through their formation together at the St. Louis Studium, otherwise known as the House of Studies.