Friday, December 23, 2011

Game Plan: Part3: the Prayer


DISCLAIMER:
This is NOT the ONLY WAY to pray! This is just a game plan for those who want a chance to give themselves a routine for their prayer lives. Not everyone can go to Adoration, not everyone can pray a rosary right off the bat, etc. We are all different and we all have different spiritual lives and different walks with the Lord. I’m offering just ONE WAY to pray. ONE of the many different things we can do to pray.

Also, prayer is done out of love for God. This GAME PLAN is a plan so we can foster our love of God!
Now What?
Pray.

Prayer comes in different forms and A LOT can be said. But I will stick to something simple. If you have an idea as to what you would like to do, GREAT! What follows is just a suggestion for those who need something to follow.

The prayer: (this is just a 15 minute example)
  1. Talk to God. Tell Him about your day. If you are happy, angry, sad, worried, etc. just tell him about it. Let him hear about it all.  (2 minutes)
  2. Now pick up your Bible and open up to one of the Gospels. Read a parable, a few lines, a tiny paragraph…allow the word of God to really set in…(10 minutes)
    • St. Ignatius of Loyola recommended to really get INTO the Scripture. Really come into the scene of what is being said. Imagine yourself standing next to others in the crowd, the sand or grass or street beneath your feet...REALLY imagine yourself there...
    • Reflect. Does something stick-out to you? Any words from the reading? A certain thought? See if the Lord is trying to tell you something through the reading. Be there in that peace...Allow yourself to remain in that silence...there in that thought, in that reflection that you are in...
  3. Once you're towards the end, you can close your prayer time with things/people you specifically want to pray for. Maybe something came out in your prayer and you want to pray specifically for that hurt/sin/thought that came out in prayer. (2 minutes)
  4. Finally, thank HIM for that time in prayer. (1 minute)
Alright....enjoy this! Have a blessed Christmas! No time like the present than to pray it up!

The rest will come a few days after Christmas! In the mean time, I may post a thing or two about fun family experiences and what not! Ha!


I love being a priest!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Game Plan: Part2: Getting Started

How Much?
Alright, like the other page said, double your prayer life somehow. Don’t know where to start? Fine. Let’s start with 10 to 15 minutes. Think you can do more? Okay, 20-30 minutes. Don’t be afraid to just pick something doable and yet something that pushes you to go outside the norm. When exercising, we can’t get physical results unless we decide to push ourselves towards a goal! 

It'll be up to you how you want to manage your time with God. What I put below is just a suggestion.


When?
You have SEVEN days to pray…so choose a few days to PUT SOME TIME ASIDE! You know your schedule better than I do. If you really want results in your prayer-life, you need to give yourself some realistic benchmarks to put some time aside for you and God. So how many days? 2? 3? 5?

You can pray everyday, but I don’t want you to come down on yourself if you can’t do it all seven days. Let the fruit of your prayer bring about the desire to put more time in.

So have you picked a few days? Have you? No? Well, what are you waiting for?


Where?
Choose where to pray. Can’t go to Church? Can’t go to Adoration? That’s fine. Lot’s of people can’t just go to the gym either so they workout at home. You can be just as creative as they are. Some people pray in their cars on their drive to work and some pray at home. If at home, pick a spot. Pick a space that you can claim for you and God. Be creative if you need to. The steps? Outside? In your room? It’s all up to you. I remember hearing a stay-at-home mom say that her prayer time is in the shower because
that's when she has some time to herself away from everyone else. So be creative if you need to be.

I, personally, tell those beginning to pray, NOT to pray in bed. Why? Because one minute you are praying, the next, you are sound asleep!!


Alright, that is it for now! Next post is an example for a structured prayer time.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Game Plan: Part1: What's the deal?


What's the deal?
Alright. So there have been a few posts that I have put up that have talked a little about prayer and the need to go the distance and how Archbishop Fulton Sheen gave his thoughts on being spiritually developed. 

Prayer is a total must. You want to be a PRACTICING Catholic? Walking into the church and "doing your time" is not going to cut it! Saying hey for a minute or two when you wake up and go to sleep is good, but I don't think you lasted this long with your friends by simply saying "hi! you are cool. okay, bye!" (By the way, Mass is beautiful! It isn't a prison! Want to learn more about it? I recommend this great book for starters!)

WHAT IS PRAYER?

It's time with God. It's the movement of the heart to someONE who is beyond our reality. It's conversation with God. It's talking to the Friend of all friends. Talking to the King, the Lord, the Messiah, the Creator, the Lover of Souls, the Desire of all hearts...

It's the time of coming before HE WHO IS. Like friends or families who hang out, God just wants to spend time with you too!

It's about falling in love with someone. Love is about commitment. Think about the mom that has to wake up for 3am feedings! She don't feel like doing it, but it's done out of love. The dad that works tirelessly, an act of love. Even if you are mad, you listen to your parents out of love for them...

Spending time with God is spending time with someONE who loves you beyond what you can ever imagine...

Woa...

Yeah...Okay, So this is how it's going to be. I'm going to put out a few posts about prayer titled: Game Plan. In them, I'm gonna:

All these over the next several posts. Hopefully, though, you have been praying on your own as it is. JUST START. With the little I have said so far, I know you can start something. Put some time aside and GO! Commit! Commit to time with God! Commit to loving someone worth loving!

That's a good GAME PLAN, isn't it? To love God?


And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Friday, December 16, 2011

think about it

The flowers on Our Lady make up a 
spiritual bouquet given to me 
by my friends.
We need to exercise to have a healthier lifestyle. No, I’m not talking about that motivation to JUST get a ripped body, rather the recognition that we need to live better lives and take care of our bodies. We all go about it differently, but there are some basics:
#1 eat right AND #2 exercise.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen
1895-1979

We HAVE to take care of our souls too, though, especially during this Advent Season. There’s this flippin’ awesome late-archbishop named Fulton Sheen who wrote in one of his books, “The vast majority of men and women in the world today are so underdeveloped spiritually that if a like deficiency showed in their bodies, they would be physical monstrosities.” (Victory over Vice 75)

DUUUUDE!!! THAT’S INTENSE! 

Imagine?! What would we look like if our bodies physically reflected what our souls looked like?! Would we all look GQ/Swagger or Chic/Posh? OR would we be grotesque and all "Night of the living dead"?

Makes you think, huh? 

I’m working on giving those interested a game plan on what to do for their prayer lives. Something to do not just for Advent, but for a regular routine. Oh, and by the way, yes, we are in Advent, NOT CHRISTMAS. Don’t believe the lies you are hearing on the radio or on TV!! Haha…seriously. Christmas is the day we celebrate when Christ was born…and last I checked, we haven’t gotten there yet. All those commercials about celebrating Santa Clause and the Holiday seasons...yeah...I'm not sure why we are celebrating now :/ ...that's kinda like everyone celebrating a new born baby when the mom is still walking around thinking, "uh...the baby ain't born yet."

So as we prepare for his coming, this Advent Season, as we prepare for Christmas, let’s work on our prayer lives, fast a little from the good stuff that we like (e.g., if you always go to that one coffee shop, try just having coffee from home or work! try not texting after 8pm!), and prepare for that awesome day when we celebrate when God “was made flesh, and dwelt among us.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

P90X+ : Part2

okay. I started seeing how good it is to do P90X+ and so I decided to go ahead and order myself the program. I won't be bumming off of my priest friend anymore. No, sir. I'm going for the real deal. 

Why? Well, I want the full blown experience. I want to be in shape. I want to feel better about myself (health-wise). I have had more energy and I have been sleeping well since I started exercising. My eating habits are changing for the better. Why not go all out?

I started thinking about all this and thinking about whether or not we go all out with our prayer lives, you know? I mean we try all these different diets. We try the latest things to get fit by trying to work out a certain program for ourselves. Maybe we are training for a sport or some other activity...but have we ever really tried to go all out in our prayer lives? Do we desire to "go the distance"?

Yes, I just quoted Disney's Hercules. And here is a youtube video on it!
Seriously, have we ever decided to go the distance? To aim for holiness? To really want a holy life? It's hard, I know, but so is working out. You have to push when you don't feel like exercising. You want results? You commit, right? You can't just watch videos and tell yourself you'll eventually do something about it. NO! You commit. Same thing with your prayer life. You want results? You want to be close to God? You don't JUST go to Mass on Sundays and pray before meals! That isn't enough.

If we want the full blown experience in being Catholic, if we want to see results, if we want to feel better about our spiritual lives, we have to do more. MUCH more. If you want to do it, great! Keep in mind though that if you are just now starting off, you have to take it easy. Remember, like in exercising, you need to work on things slowly and yet you still have to push yourself and commit.


FOR STARTERS:


How much are you praying? A few minutes? Well...DOUBLE it! 

Talk to God, but make sure you allow for that silent time. Just as in conversations you talk AND listen, God wants to talk with you. He is happy that you have so much to say, but give him a chance to spend time with you. Let him take control of the topic of conversation!

Also, go to Confession and rid yourself of those fatty/evil sins in your life!

Seeing as I can say a lot, I'll stop here and add more later. These are some good basic starters. Think about it, alright? I'll give you a game plan later. :p

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bad IdEa...

So I have been working on P90X+ these five days or so, and I have to say, "I really like it." I've also been watching what I eat and making sure I eat a whole lot better...until...tonight....


I went out to Five Guys. Great burgers and fries...except...I had not eaten something that heavy or greasy for quite some time...ugh...i can FEEL the heaviness trying to push through my stomach...like my body is yelling out, "What did you DOOOOOOOOO???"


My bad! I didn't think it would be that big of a deal....Looks like I got an intense evening/night in front of me! I hope my body can take care of it all alright before I go to sleep. Last thing I need is any kind of heartburn or what not preventing me from sleeping :/


I wonder if there is a patron saint of good digestion...hmmm....


Memo to self: make sure you watch what you eat!