How Dost Thou Pray?

Procrastination is a familiar word within some of my essays and blog entries. More often than not, admittedly, I keep postponing supposed work for the most mundane of tasks. I am not lazy; I may well be just creative because I read somewhere that creative people tend to procrastinate…a lot.

This piece is actually one of those long delayed stuff I was referring to.

Praying was a major task I have kept setting aside because there came a point when it was merely a rote; it became a mechanical repetition, which I don’t remember at the conclusion of every prayer I uttered. I got bored and uninterested. My faith was all over the place but not in a good way. Then, I felt I was being punished because I went through so much hell and high water over the years. Still, there wasn’t enough realization because sometimes, I would pray before I go to sleep;  sometimes, I won’t. There were times when I would just make the sign of the Cross; at times, I won’t at all. Excuses after excuses. Then, my Pops passed away…it took a different kind of pain for me to clearly hear God talking to me all the time especially when it feels that all else fails. Now, more than ever, I know that He never leaves; I am the one who strays away.

So, let’s just say, I found that faith that was set aside for awhile. That’s half the battle. It’s like getting the top rank in class but then, maintaining it takes a lot more work and consistency than just achieving it once. It works the same in prayers. You prayed one time but you have to pray again tomorrow and the next day till your last breath on earth. It needs that extra touch for you not to forget and not to lose heart. You don’t want to get bored; you want to be interested all the time. You don’t want it to be out of your system. Because it is a big deal that you make a big deal out of it, that You make a big deal of God in your life. It is to be understood that praying is not only for petitions and things that we want, but it is more importantly about gratitude; it is recognizing and acknowledging God in all things; it’s forgetting our own needs at times and devoting prayers for the needs of others; the ones less fortunate than us; the ones who are suffering whilst we sit conveniently at home; the ones who need His mercy more and most. Even repetitive prayers like The Holy Rosary can be spontaneous and engaging if you are willing enough to let go of unnecessary distractions and work hard at it. It also takes time. Yes, it does. Like exercising, have the forbearance; use different ways to be fit so as to target not just the weight loss but to make the whole body metabolism respond and make you healthier. Let prayers be your lifestyle not just a one-off thing.

I am not a preacher but I thought to share how it works for me; maybe it’ll work for you:

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1.) My family and I say the rosary every night except for Wednesdays, when we say The Novena to our Mother of Perpetual Help and every other Fridays when we say The Divine Mercy Chaplet. Oh, we do miss; that’s where the Pray-as-you-go Rosary Reflection come in for a more private time of devotion.This site/app also provides a structured daily prayer as you go to work, as you walk somewhere, as you jog – Pray-As-You-Go

2.) We don’t allow to miss a lot from our prayer regimen. When we get distracted, we pray for that distraction and ask God to bestow upon us the gift of the Holy Spirit so as we can go back to that center.

3.) Every 1st Friday of the month, even on ordinary days, we reflect upon the Way Of The Cross because this reminds us of why we were freed from sins in the first place.

4.) Follow a daily Bible Reading plan and stick to it; establish a goal to read the Bible for a year but make sure you will and you want to understand it – support this with Bible commentaries so you will indeed understand – you may use sites and apps such as Bible Hub and Living Space

5.) Do The Examen as taught in Ignatian Spirituality. This exercise should be done on a daily basis but I am grateful I get to do it a couple of times a week. Like what I said, Prayer needs serious time and space that you will allow it to have. I put myself in a way I want to feel that God is with me, ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit to see, hear and feel God in things; I say or write down the things I am grateful for, the things I am sorry for, my petitions and tangible resolutions on how to be a better person the following day.

6.) If you’re lazy or not in the mood to pray, just pray. Oh boy, just invoking God’s presence in your midst does wonders within your self right at that moment.  If you’re desolate, don’t make decisions but ask God to bring back consolation in your life no matter how long it takes.

7.) My prayer can also be in the form of reading blogs and writings about faith, spirituality and how to strengthen that need for God all the time – Loyola Press

8.) Sacred Space is a daily guided prayer especially for someone starting their spiritual journey. This is also a place where you will have information about The Pope’s intentions every month. It only makes sense to know what to help pray for, right? – Sacred Space

9.) There are mornings when I sing “The Prayer of St. Francis” and “In My Heart” with my eyes closed. Hymns of praise like Himig Heswita, Bukas Palad are just some of the many songs of prayers you can also use as a form of your personal devotion.

Any of these keeps me grounded.  Although life can still be difficult at times, I am so blessed and thankful. I work hard everyday to choose to be good. I find comfort in what I am, where I am and how I am. When I acknowledge everyday that I depend on God and that I am right where He wants me to be; the peace is more powerful than frustrations, love is more powerful than fear and God is bigger than everything on earth as it is in heaven.

God bless us all!

…may our prayers ever be more fervent.

…may the faith be with you

To God be the highest Glory!

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OF GOD & FAMILY

Serendib –  one of Sri Lanka’s olden Persian names

Serendipity – a fortunate happenstance

I heard of someone’s father’s passing this morning and I couldn’t help but cry; I just had to let it out because I could honestly claim to understand what the family is going through right now; I pray that God give them strength to accept what is and what will be of them.  Been there, done that.

At this point in my life, and as I welcome the new year, there are only 2 things I am certain about – Not for anything else, not for my job, not for back-up plans, not for superficial things but I live for God and for my family; I dedicate this blog to them. To God be the highest Glory!

I am where I am because God intends me to be and I strive to be a better person in this here earth for the love of my sons, husband, my pops (may he rest in peace), my mama, my sisters, my brothers-in-law, my nephews, my nieces, my in-laws and the fullness of my big, extended families.

Pascua

Like icing on a cake, we are blessed to have these many friends whom we can treat as family, too. We lose some, we gain some – all part of God’s master plan.

I will keep on making moments with every breath God blesses me with.  I will never forget to tell my loved ones “I love you” as much as I  truly can and meaning it every time.  I will never fail to be grateful – no blessing is big or small.  I will love, love and love more and I will forgive not as much as my humanity allows but as my spirituality can. I may err, err again and again but may God always remind me of learning by them. I will be humble in heart and in deed, true to my prayers and sincere in my actions.

I claim God’s blessings of us in 2016 and will nurture what He brings our way, forever and ever.