Discerning a Lenten prayer practice? Try adding one of these prayers to your daily routine.
I first learned the Litany of Humility as a LifeTeen Summer Staff Missionary, but its power didn’t really hit me until my second year of teaching. I remember feeling overwhelmed by all the competing pressures of students, colleagues, and administrators. I was actually being consumed by my own perfectionism. I clung to the words of the Litany of Humility for relief from the demands of my ego. I still hear them echo these days when my Type-A personality gets in the way of embracing the joy in the mess of motherhood.
A priest recommended the Divine Mercy Chaplet to me in “confession” the summer before I became Catholic. It was utterly transformative, and I still find myself turning the Chaplet when I need to soak in God’s mercy. Revealed to St. Faustina, the Chaplet is prayed using Rosary beads and repetition (although I often use my fingers while rocking a baby to sleep).
As a convert to Catholicism, I have always struggled a bit in my relationship with Mary. It’s complicated, and we’re working on it. One of my first steps to embracing her as mother was to adopt a daily Rosary during Lent. It was overwhelming at first, but listening to an audio Rosary on my commute familiarized me with the prayers. By the close of Lent, I did notice a difference in my relationship with my Mamma. Now, my almost 4-year-old daughter and I pray a little bit of the Rosary together at bedtime. Her favorite prayer is the “Hail Mary” (one she sometimes breaks out when asked to lead prayer at mealtimes, much to our amusement). It’s my hope that she grows up with a keen sense of the love of our spiritual Mother.
The awareness examine is paradoxically powerful in its simplicity. The practice of reviewing one’s day, cultivating the habit of looking for God, brings awareness of God into the moment. When I am regularly praying the awareness examine, I begin to see God not just in retrospect, but even more clearly in the little moments of the day.
This one is probably the easiest to incorporate (less so when remembering to do it in the midst of a bleary-eyed answer to the alarm of a crying toddler). The words of the text are beautiful, a reminder that all we do in our day becomes holy when given in joyful offering to God:
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer You my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sin, and the reunion of all Christians. I offer them for the intentions of our bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer, and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.
What prayer practices are you adopting this Lent?