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Saturday, September 10, 2005

???? Forgotten Devotions ????

When was the last time you practiced a Novena? When was the last time you followed the First Five Saturdays? How about First Fridays? Oh, how about saying a chaplet??? Well you are not alone, if you haven't practiced any of these devotions, or not in quite some time. Most people say that they are too busy and don't have enough time? That is nonsense. What are we making time for? Are we sitting in front of that television to entertain ourselves. Do we put our children in front of video games? We are all guilty of the worldly distractions to some degree. We need to make time for our spirituality and worry about where our soul is going instead of where we can head off to, and in what direction it pleases us.
We can achieve such great satisfaction and pleasure in truly immersing ourselves in the presence of our Savior. He can give us the peace and rest we are trying to look for after a hard days work. If you are looking to relieve stress and most of us are, then turn to prayer. Spend an hour in Eucharistic Adoration quietly and contemplate with the Lord. Physically, this relaxes you as well as benefitting from it spiritually. Praying the Rosary or Divine Mercy or other chaplets lets you give honor and glory to Jesus through Mary and through the saints intercession.
What about fasting? We don't fast along with prayer as we should. When was the last time you fasted on a Friday outside of Lent, or fasted on any other day for that matter? Remember Ember Days? What happened to those beautiful penances involved in offering up to Our Lord? Couldn't we all afford (well most of us) to lose a few pounds, for a good cause, (our souls)?
I have heard people say that, " they get bored with the same old prayers". There are many prayers. If you do some research, maybe you will come across some prayers you've never said or ever heard of. Some people may not know where to start. Your priests can give you wonderful advice on prayer and spiritual reading. The saints are a great influence and there are plenty of books to keep you occupied and away from the television set. Our children can benefit from books on the Saints as well. What child doesn't like a story? Most kids want a hero. Why not let our Saints be there models, instead of a superhero beating the brains out of a bad guy? For us adults, take a book and sit quietly in your church and read or pray. If you need time alone and can't get a break from the children, or arrange for a babysitter, then switch off with your spouse and make time for yourself. You will all benefit from this, and it is good to pray for each other.
Some people like organization. Then recite a Novena and make a committment to that particular intention and follow through on it. "The True Devotion to Mary" by St. Louis de Montfort is a great book to read. Read The story of Fatima and know the teachings of Our Blessed Mother. If you don't know this story, than you will be in for an eye opener. Most people need this today, in this mass destructive world we live in.
Most importantly our concerns should be reaching our goals. Most people would agree that reaching goals, and formulating their accomplishments in this lifetime is extremely important. Very true, but what is it based on? Now this is where we need to make the most significant choices. First of all, this is not eternity! Our goal should be living eternity in true peace with Christ. Not in Damnation. We have to remember to make correct choices. Ask yourself an honest question? What do we want out of life? Honestly, we are all selfish human beings. We want for ourselves and what can be good for us and make us happy, RIGHT? Oh, we most certainly do! Well, we can have that good and true happiness if we achieve the goal of reaching heaven. We can make ourselves truly happy if we make it there and after all isn't that what God wants for us?
So maybe, if we start practising devotions that are forgotten, or not done so much anymore, then maybe we can all benefit from the graces and indulgences that we can gain from doing so. What have we got to lose?


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