Later this month I’m going to do a youth ministry night for our teens on Having a Daily Faith. It’s going to be all about the habits we need to create related to our faith life, that holiness doesn’t happen by accident, and we need to be intentional about what we do. So I’m going to blog about some of the daily faith things I do to keep my faith the center of my life, instead of letting it hang out in the fringes of my week.
My intention of sharing is to show you how one person lives out this life and hopefully inspire you. It is not to boast, to say you have to do these things to be a good Catholic, or even to judge you for how you live. I hope you’ll enjoy walking on this journey with me.
For many years I’ve been doing the other things I’ve talked about here and known I should be reading the Scriptures more. So for Lent about 3 or 4 years ago I decided to start on a “Read the Bible in a Year” plan. I read every evening according to this plan from that Meg posted. It took me a little more than a year to complete with travel and forgetting my Bible at home but I did finish before the next year’s Easter. Then I promptly stopped reading the Scriptures. I didn’t even prepare for the upcoming Sunday Mass readings, not that I was doing that before I started the plan.
A few things happened in the past year. A friend told me about a ministry she and a few other youth ministers started called Carpe Verbum that I subscribed to and started reading. Each day there’s a Lectio Divina reflection on the readings of the day. You may have noticed that I write for them too and post it on my blog that same day, just the reflection portion. I have also recently taken on a larger role in the ministry by preparing one of the posts each week. This along with the daily Blessed is She email and reflection have become part of my morning routine. Although I don’t read the readings, I do reflect before I go to Mass and hear them [still not scripture reading, I know].
For Lent I decided my “prayer” thing would be 15 minutes of Scripture reading and silent prayer before bed. This is when I really got started. When I was trying to determine what to read, I pulled out my new Catholic Journaling Bible and just started with the chapter and verse that they have popped out and written very beautifully (like in the image at the header of this post). I would read that, reflect, and have silent time.
I didn’t think this would be a game changer or anything dramatic for my prayer life. It really has though. It’s given me 15 minutes of time to set aside in prayer that’s not scripted or wrote every evening. The words haven’t been formed by someone else (not that those are bad prayers, I do them all of the time!), but it’s just me, the Lord, and His Word. One week I reflected on the same psalm every evening, trying to bring it into the reality of my heart. On Easter I began the Gospel of Luke and then Acts of the Apostles as my reading. After the Ascension I started the book of Ephesians.
I find that one chapter, or one book, is better for me though. So I reflect and pray, rather than read it like a novel or a book. Reading 5 chapters of the Gospel isn’t really what I’m looking to do each evening. More like reading a passage, reflecting on it, and praying through it to apply it to my daily life. It’s not easy to do – and even a few months in I have to confess I set a timer. Otherwise I’d pray for like 4 minutes and call it done but I want to be committed to more time.
Last Week’s Daily Faith Topic: Spiritual Reading