Have you ever found yourself going a whole day then realize that you didn’t think about God at all? Or, you go to Sunday Mass and have the same realization – that you haven’t really prayed since last Sunday?
In these reflections, we often touch on the importance of developing a prayer life and even making it to Daily Mass during the week – but even if we have set these habits, that still only covers a fraction of our days. What about all of the time in between?
We’re busy people. And sometimes, not thinking about God is really just that – we forget to think about Him. It doesn’t even cross our mind as something that we could do.
I have two suggestions that I’ve started to implement in my own life to help us briefly but frequently lift our minds to God no matter where we are and what we’re doing.
First, set an alarm for 3pm everyday. Why 3pm? It’s the hour that Christ died. It’s the hour of mercy. And when that alarm goes off, remember Christ on the cross and offer a prayer: “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.”
Second, train yourself to raise the mind to God with invocations. An invocation is another short and simple prayer that we can say quickly and quietly throughout our day, no matter what activity we’re doing. It’s a way for us to unite our daily works and difficulties to Christ and raise our minds to God. The key to invocations is establishing a trigger. It could be anytime we start a new task at work or home, or a when we take on job that we don’t want to do, or any time we clean up after our kids (which can be a lot). Examples include: “Heart of Jesus, all for love of you.” Or, “Lord, increase our faith.” Or, “Hail, O Holy Cross, our only hope.” Or, “Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.”
For many of us, the reality is that we’re not monks sitting in prayer all day. We’ve got jobs, kids, families. But that doesn’t mean that God can’t have a (constant) place in our lives.