"Though scheduling and convenience can hinder some from being more contemplative, it all comes down to choice," Monica Sifert writes. Pixabay

Speaking Out: My prayer life is an active choice

By  Monica Sifert, Speaking Out
  • June 7, 2018

This summer is going to be different than summers in the past. After graduating from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College a few weeks ago, I have struggled to maintain a strong spiritual life without the regularity of a school and work schedule.

For some students it’s losing the scheduled time for their regular prayer groups. For me, it’s losing the regular schedule of daily Mass, school prayer, bi-weekly adoration, spiritual direction and a library full of the proper books to enlighten and teach within a Catholic imagination.

After attending a school where the students, faculty and most staff were all strong Catholics, it was easy to see how they maintained their prayer life. It is comforting to look up in Mass and see faculty, staff, their families and a lot of students. I am so blessed to have had the time and convenience of sacraments and strong Catholics surrounding me all in one place, easy to access.

Now that it is summer, it is difficult to make use of the same opportunities because they are in separate places and times. But while it may be difficult to attend daily Mass or adoration within an inconsistent summer schedule, it is also a test to see how much you really seek God. 

Now I have to actively pursue Him. I am working harder to build a relationship with Christ, giving Him more time, more effort and more of my heart. 

Though scheduling and convenience can hinder some from being more contemplative, it all comes down to choice. I made a decision when I started university that I wanted to go to daily Mass. After I did so, I wanted to be more involved in my faith. Seeking a weekly adoration hour turned into wanting to go twice a week and then wanting to go every day (even if it was only five minutes sometimes). 

I started spiritual direction and saying parts of the Divine Office and saying the Divine Mercy Chaplet with my school’s faculty, staff and a few students every day that I could. 

In a digital age, it becomes more difficult to use time wisely because there are more distractions and attention given to things that are usually meaningless. More time should be spent in quiet spaces and in prayer rather than being attached to screens that can lead us to being lethargic and slothful, especially in our spiritual lives. 

At least use technology for something that will help you grow, not be distracted and attached.

I find that I always have tabs on my computer or phone open to different prayers, novenas, morning and evening prayer, so they are always near me.

Once you make the choice to pray more and build a real relationship with Christ — starting with a simple morning prayer works even with an inconsistent schedule — you just pray when you wake up. A strong spiritual life can be attained if the simple choice is made.

(Sifert, 22, is a Christian Humanities graduateat Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College and lives in Phoenix, Ariz.)

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