Obviously, praying a Breviary was not a part of my spiritual life growing up. When I was in my last semester of college, I attended a retreat where we prayed the Breviary, and it just wasn’t my thing. I could give the reasons I don’t enjoy praying from it, but that isn’t why I’m writing this. Instead, I want to expand on a point I made in an earlier post: you are not a bad Catholic if you don’t like every single prayer that’s out there.You are not a bad Catholic if you don’t like every single prayer. Click To Tweet
Everyone has a different path for the same call.
We are all called to the same thing: nothing less than sainthood. However, God has created every single one of us very intentionally, and our differences influence the path He desires for us to get there. We see this in big ways with our vocations, but we can also see this in little ways like how we pray best.We are all called to the same thing: nothing less than sainthood. Click To Tweet
There are a lot of different, valid prayer methods.
Simply put, prayer is communication with God. Fortunately, because of our differences, He has provided us with a number of ways to talk to Him.
If you like having a structured prayer, there are lots of prayers that we as Catholics know (or can learn); there’s the Breviary, and there are Novenas.
If you like to read, you can pray through Saint writings, or we have God’s own word in the form of Scripture. Even reading it connects us to God, but you can also practice Lectio Divina and Ignatian Meditation.
If you like having something tangible in front of you, we have sacramentals like the rosary, chaplets, or holy water to remind us of heavenly things.
You can just talk through what’s on your mind.
You can ask the Saints for their intercession.
You can ask your guardian angel to guide you.
If music speaks to you, you can listen (or sing along) to praise music.
If words completely fail, you can sit in silence in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
Your enjoyment of a prayer doesn’t influence its effectivity.
Prayer isn’t always going to give us a sense of fulfillment, but the time you spend praying is never wasted. Just because I don’t like praying the Breviary doesn’t mean I don’t get things out of it. I still do my best to put my focus on what I’m saying and my attention to God.The time you spend praying is never wasted. Click To Tweet
So what do we do when we’re in a situation where we are asked to pray in a way we don’t enjoy?
- Remember it is about God. God is worthy of praise and expressions of gratitude. God doesn’t need our prayers. While praying helps us, we still need to orient it towards God.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. The Holy Spirit leads us to Jesus and helps us pray.
- Find an aspect of the prayer that speaks to you. I like to pray through reading Scripture. Being able to read what is being said helps me connect to God and the words better, so rather than focusing on the aspects of praying the Breviary that make me uncomfortable, I try to find some words that help me feel connected to God that I can hold onto in prayer later.
- Pray about why you don’t like the prayer. When we seek to understand why we don’t like a particular prayer method, it can reveal something important. One of the reasons I don’t like praying the Breviary is simply that I don’t know how to do it. When I look at that, I can recognize that as an issue of pride and acknowledge that I need to work on my humility.
Prayer can be a challenging, but when we focus on God, we can find a way to connect with Him regardless of the distractions and imperfections.
What is your favorite way to pray?