I offer a whole lot of quick prayers throughout the day. If I have a particularly onerous chore to get done, I like to say a quick prayer before I begin and offer my task as a prayer as well. I also manage to get to daily Mass more days than not. But I am not very good at breaking out a specific block of time for private prayer. This is probably because I am constantly trying to squeeze 65 minutes of activity into a 60-minute time span so I always feel like I am running behind.
I was thinking about this yesterday, and I thought, “Why don’t I try to get to Mass 15 minutes early and use those few minutes for quiet, personal prayer time?” In spite of my good intentions, I only managed to arrive about ten minutes early. That was a start, but I felt chagrined that I couldn’t even manage the full fifteen minutes. I’ve been attending a newly opened church for daily Mass since it is so close to my home. Since it is not my regular parish, I don’t know all the priests yet. A very nice young priest whom I had not seen before said yesterday’s Mass. I was so surprised when after the final blessing he did not leave the sanctuary. Rather, he knelt before the altar and led us in the Divine Mercy Chaplet and then in the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. How Providential that on a day I was seeking more prayer I would find a priest to lead the way!
Today Argent marks the feast day of St. Francis de Sales by sharing his very wise words on devotion. Do read the whole thing, but the following words were especially poignant for me:
It is therefore an error and even a heresy to wish to exclude the exercise of devotion from military divisions, from the artisans’ shops, from the courts of princes, from family households. I acknowledge, my dear Philothea, that the type of devotion which is purely contemplative, monastic and religious can certainly not be exercised in these sorts of stations and occupations, but besides this threefold type of devotion, there are many others fit for perfecting those who live in a secular state.
Therefore, in whatever situations we happen to be, we can and we must aspire to the life of perfection.
So once again I will try to get to Mass with enough time for some private devotion beforehand. But with the assurances of St. Frances de Sales, I will perfect my daily duties with devotions that fit the shuttling of kids, cooking, cleaning, reading, and writing that fill my days.