I have been focusing on a the spiritual side of things this Lent so I will continue that theme today with The Seven Daily Habits of Holy Apostolic People. This post was named after and prompted by a really good article by Father John McCloskey.
1. The Morning Offering -My Morning Offering goes like this:
O Jesus, through the Immacuate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers works, joys, and sufferings of this day; along with every beat of my heart and every breath I take for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, in reparation for my sins, for the intentions of all my associates, for Archbishop Daniel, for Monsignor Schaedel, that priests may be imbued with apostolic zeal in the Vineyard of the Master, and for the converson of my children and granchildren, Christine and her children, all fallen away Catholics and the enemies of the Church.
O my Jesus, I include myself in all the Holy Masses which are celebrated this day throughout the world, and offer them to You in union with the intentions of Your Sacred Heart. I implore You to reserve for me, from each Holy Mass, Your most precious Blood to atone for my sins and their punishment.
Grant me also the grace of obtaining through the merits of every holy sacrifice the release of one poor soul from the pains of purgatory, the conversion of one sinner, and also that one soul in the agony of death may obtain mercy, and that one mortal sin, which is so painful to Your Sacred Heart may be prevented. Amen.
2. Spiritual Reading - My Spiritual reading consists of:
The daily Mass readings
The Liturgy of the Hours
3. The Rosary - Generally this is a quick recitation with my husband in the morning, but my favorite thing is to really take some time with a scriptural rosary or a CD. A nice selection can be found at Catholic Company.
4. Holy Mass and Communion - Daily Mass seems to be the toughest thing for me....if I could leave my home each morning about 20 minutes sooner, I would have the opportunity to begin my work day with Mass at the Cathedral; but no matter what I do, it seems I am not able to get this accomplished. If any of you would find it in your heart to keep me in your prayers concerning this aspect of my life I would greatly appreciate it. If We Knew the Value of the Mass is worth reading at this point.
5. At Least 15 Minutes of Mental Prayer - For me this is the last part of my Morning Prayer more like reflection/contemplation/meditation on the reading for the day from the Divine Intimacy. This is generally where I really enter into a Sabbath Moment. This is where I enter into the peace and joy that is attainable only through an intimate relationship with Christ Jesus.
6. Recitation of the Angelus at Noon - As I get into the busy-ness of my day; this too has been a difficult habit to maintain. However, at this point I have begun setting the alarm on my cell phone for "noon" and for 3pm to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy or, if I am not in a position to offer formal prayer at the 3 o'clock hour I can at least offer a short mental pray such as the Jesus Pray, Jesus, Mary and Joseph Save Souls, or one of the short Fatima Prayers.
7. Evening Examen - This is another holy habit that has been difficult for me. One symptom of Lupus is extreme fatigue. By the end of the day which for me is; whatever time I get home in the evening...whether that is 2 in the afternoon or 10 at night, it is difficlut to mentally make the switch to: "ok, it's time to do the things that need to be done at home". I'm doing good to get dinner prepared and be sure I have everything together for the next day. So here I have implemented through my Rule of Life (which will be the topic of a new Page sometime in the future) a personally customized Day Planner. Within the pages of this Day Planner, I have included the Prayer aspect of my Rule of Life with includes an Examination of Conscience published by the Fathers of Mercy. After my Examen I journal on these three questions; Where have I fallen? How has virtue been exercised? Which Ones? What special gift has Jesus given me today? I end my Examen and journaling with the following prayer. I think this is actually suppose to be prayed following Holy Communion, but it expresses my inner thoughts after reviewing my moral condition, so this is my closing prayer. Also, I wish I knew where I found it, but I don't have a clue....
From the depths of my heart I thank You, Dear Lord, for Your infinite kindness in coming to me. How good You are to me! With Your most holy Mother and all the angels, I praise Your mercy and generosity toward me, a poor sinner. I thank You for nourishing my soul with Your Sacred Body and Precious Blood. I will try to show my gratitude to You in the Sacrament of Your love, by obedience to Your holy commandments, by fidelity to my duties, by kindness to my neighbors and by an earnest endeavor to become more like You in my daily conduct. Amen
There are many formal Examens available. I've seen one (although I am not quite sure where) that is quite long and I believe is intended as a yearly meditation. Then of course the 10 Commandments are the reliable standby and another option is the Examen of Conscience by Father John Hardon.
God willing...until next Friday.