Five Ways to Sanctify Your Day

We all live busy lives, rushing to work, running errands, and navigating rush hour traffic. With all the busyness, it’s hard to live a prayerful life and be mindful of God’s presence, even if we want to. But ultimately, quietness comes from within,  and incorporating holy habits into our lives can help us keep recollected in the midst of all the noise and chaos of the modern world.

Here are five simple ways to slow down and live a more peaceful and prayerful life.

1. Spend Time in Prayer in the Morning

Trust me, I know how hard it can be to drag yourself out of bed in the morning. The feeling of grogginess can be hard to shake. But is important to start the day with prayer. In my own experience, my day is productive and peaceful in direct proportion to my ability to get out of bed and spend time in prayer and spiritual reading. When I do this, I find myself more peaceful, more patient with others, and more recollected to God’s presence throughout the day.  But when I hit the snooze button, the rest of the day, including my interactions with others, seems to suffer.

I know it can be difficult to know what to do when you make time for prayer, so I will share my own morning routine in a future post.

2. Say A Hail Mary

When I sit down at the computer, my first impulse is to start anxiously checking emails and reading my favorite news websites. Instead of giving into this impulse, however, I have gotten in the habit of saying a Hail Mary before I do anything else—many times before I even turn on my computer. I ask Our Lady to bless my day and guide my priorities. My work day is inevitably less stressful and hurried when I start it in this way.

3. Say the Angelus

The Angelus is a beautiful, time-honored prayer that reminds us of the miracle of the incarnation and the importance of conformity to the will of God. It is also a great way to pause, turn your heart to Our Lord, and take a deep breath, so to speak, in the middle of a hectic day. Traditionally, it is prayed at the noon hour, so maybe you could start your lunch break by praying it.

We don’t all have jobs where we can pray the Angelus, but if you do, I would encourage you to set an alarm and pray it tomorrow.

4. Pray the Rosary

The rosary is one of the most popular and well known Catholic prayers, and for good reason. When prayed with concentration and devotion, it is one of the best prayers we can pray. Our Lady of Fatima asked all the faithful to pray the rosary daily, so it should be the one prayer we manage to pray, even if we can’t make time for anything else.

Consider praying the rosary after dinner. It is a great way to spend time with Jesus in Mary at the end of your day. If you have a family, pray it as a family. If you can’t find time during the day, try praying in the car on the way to work. Whatever you do, pray the rosary.

5. Examine Your Conscience Before Bed

Sin is a reality, and chances are, we are saying, thinking, and doing things that are displeasing to God throughout the day. If you don’t think so, you are deceiving yourself. Go to bed with a clean conscience by examining yourself daily. Pause before bed, cast your mind’s eye over your thoughts and interactions with others, and ask yourself if you’ve done anything displeasing to God. Then, think of  Jesus crucified, full of love for you. Tell him you are sorry for your failings and resolve to do good by saying an act of contrition.

Conclusion

It is easy to get distracted and forget God’s presence throughout the day. Reminding ourselves of God’s presence often requires sanctifying our day with good daily habits.

What do you do to sanctify your day? What are the practices you recommend?

Editor’s note: This article first appeared on The Catholic Gentleman and is reprinted with kind permission.

 

By

Sam Guzman is an author and editor of The Catholic Gentleman whose work has appeared in several publications. He resides in Wisconsin with his wife and two small boys where he is also the Communications Director for Pro-Life Wisconsin.

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  • Guadalupe House

    Great suggestions! Here’s another one – attend daily Mass, if possible. Jesus, in the Eucharist, is the ultimate way to sanctify your day.

  • George Cameron

    If your parish has a Eucharistic Adoration chapel, spend some time there, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Another suggestion is to turn off the TV and any other distraction to make more time for the Lord. Most stuff on TV is a waste of time!

  • Eliza forsh

    I go to Mass and arrive early. I say the Rosary and just visit with my Lord andvSaviour. It is my favorite time of the day.

  • CR89

    If you can find the time start or re-start praying the Divine Office, a.k.a. The Liturgy of the Hours. It can be prayed at various times of the day and you can pray as many or as few of the Hours as you can manage. There are plenty of online resources to get you started. I hope Sam does a future article on this method of prayer.

  • Brenda Gabriel

    Most times, when your immediate environment, is not conducive to your yearning for quietude and like mindedness, we may experience difficulties in this wilderness in directing our thoughts to prayer, it is then I appreciate the utter nearness of my Lord, to those of you who experience the above, all or in part, know this God will meet you where you are, open you mind and ask Him to come into you own wilderness it is there you meet Him, you and Him alone, unseen by the multitudes of distractions, It is then I pray be merciful to me a sinner. Pray can be very effective when it is spontaneous, and from within your wilderness. “Be still and know that I am God” He has come to save that which was lost.

  • Maria

    Good suggestions ;
    was listening to the C.D by Fr.Gary Thomas on the topic of exorcism and towards the end , he mentions the special grace and power of praying to Bl.Mother .
    In spite of having been in the habit of saying the rosary, only lately have recognised bit more what a good prayer it can be , when faced with nagging /annoying things – Hail Mary is God’ way, through His Mother, to lift us /put us too , into that awesome moment of the Incarantion , in the company of Angel Gabriel .

    The exorcism tape mentions how the enemy is a legalist and would look for any which way it can come in and hang on; thus The Mother has recommneded the rosary , may be for the way it covers all areas that the enemy has tried to put stakes in our lives and family lines !
    The spirit of control and maniplualtion seen in others , the related anger etc can all be bothersome , unless , with the Hail Mary , we ask for that grace into the life of the self and the other , even unto generations past , into all sinful occasions and its ongoing effects in one’s lives – attitudes of anger, envy , selfishness / idolatry and so forth !
    Thus made aware , pretty soon , one would be saying the Angelic salutation very many times a day and more at peace , to also possibly bring peace into far away lands too, joining with the good and bad there, asking The Mother to do so !

  • HenryBowers

    A lifelong Catholic like me might need a reminder that “spiritual reading” can include something as simple as one chapter of the Bible per day: 5 minutes. Read the Bible cover-to-cover before you die. When you want more, add Liturgy of the Hours; Vespers and Lauds.

  • Angelica Cota

    Another way would be singing songs of praise and thanksgiving to God

  • vdmt55

    Awesome!!

  • patty

    The Goal is Heaven (“The Kingdom of God is within/ among you” Lk. 17: 21) – Heaven is Union with God/ Holiness. Sacrifice means Sacri- Holy fice- to make. Our whole life; Joys, works & Trials (JWTs) can be made Holy when united to Jesus’ offerring of His life. This brings about Passion/ Praise Over Pain (POP) Jn. 16: 33. This brings meaning/ fulfillment by knowing that we are contributing to the Capital(bank) of Grace (COG) / “Thy Kingdom come…” Col. 1: 24. By recognizing God with JWT-POP-COG and avoiding the 4 pitfalls St. Aquinas says we replace God with; Wealth,Honor,Power & Pleasure (WHPP), sanctifying our life can be as easy as JWT-POP-COG not WHPP.

  • Olgamarie Reyes-Tañón

    love it

  • Michael J. Lichens

    Definitely! We’ve published a few articles on praying the Liturgy of the Hours but will certainly try to get more. Thanks for the suggestion! In the mean time, check out these two:

    http://catholicexchange.com/praying-the-mass-and-the-liturgy-of-the-hours-teaches-us-how-to-discerning-gods-will

    http://catholicexchange.com/the-liturgy-of-the-hours-isnt-what-you-think

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