I'm smiling right now as a result of something I stumbled upon recently so I just have to share it with you.
Of all the components of living a good, Catholic life, prayer has always been the hardest thing for me. I just have never been able to get into it. Setting aside a regular time every day works for a couple of days and then I get bored and quit. For a while, I went to Adoration every Tuesday from 5 AM to 6 AM and that worked really well, but a variety of things forced me to quit that.
After that, my prayer life became trial and error. I bought a bunch of books of Catholic prayers and kept them around the house, I liked to open them up to random pages once in a while, but it wasn't something I did regularly and while it was always good for me, it wasn't doing the trick. Without prayer, it was clear that the sins I personally struggle with still took control of me with clockwork regularity and I was very unhappy with the way things were going.
I finally hit on a winner, If you haven't noticed, I love to write. No, really! There's this blogging thing I've done every day for years and years ...
Oh, that's right, You're there now.
Anyway, I got the idea of keeping a journal outside of this blog and starting each day's entry with a prayer a la St. Augustine's Confessions. Augie ends each section with a prayer summarizing what he learned from that particular adventure in his life, so I copied his style.
It's been a life changer!
I realized yesterday as I was driving in to work that I hadn't grumbled at the windshield while driving (wrath is a favorite sin of mine) in forever and it had fallen away naturally. People who I had held grudges against (another favorite is to hold on to injustices like life preservers in the middle of the ocean) were now greeted with smiles. I never even thought of whatever it was they had done to me.
I now look for ways to make my wife happy when she's away rather than burning time on the Interweb tubes or sports.
I smile more.
Life itself hasn't changed. Over the last 30+ days, there have been ups and downs just like normal. What's changed is my attitude towards life and I love it.
If you're not spending some regular time in prayer and reflection, I'd bet that you can find a trick that works for you. My prayers are very brief, usually 2-3 sentences, just enough to hit what I've been doing and what's going on in my life.
Through daily prayer, I've discovered that I don't think of others as much as I should. However, the more I do, the more I give, the better I feel. I've discovered much more than that, too. One of the things that makes me smile the most is the realization that this is just the beginning. If it feels this good after 30 or so days, imagine what it will be like after 300.
There. That's it. We'll return to our normally scheduled polemics tomorrow. I hope this helps you in some way.