Life is a journey; the choices you make now will determine your eternal destination.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Journey, Continued

I just finished reading"How to Converse Continually and Familiarly With God" by St. Alphonsus Ligouri. I have been looking for ways to "pray always". I find that I get wrapped up in what I do during the day and need to stop and take time for God. Here are some suggestions from that great saint that help to keep devotion to God uppermost in your mind throughout the day:
-When you awake in the morning, your first thought should be to raise your mind to God and offer Him all the actions of that day, asking Him to help you by His grace. Then make the other morning Christian acts of thanksgiving, love, petition and the firm resolve of living that day as if it were the last day of your life.
-There are three devotions which you must treasure above all the others if you want to grow in holiness: devotion to the Passion, to the Most Blessed Sacrament, and to the Blessed Virgin. In your meditation, make frequent acts of contrition, love of God and self-oblation. One fervent act of love in the morning meditation is sufficient to keep the soul fervent throughout the remainder of the day.
-When you leave your room or your house and when you return, recommend yourself to the Blessed Mother by saying a Hail Mary. When going to the table for your meals, offer to God whatever pleasure or displeasure you may feel in eating or drinking, and after the meal, thank Him by saying:"What benefits, O Lord, you bestow on one who has so greatly offended you!"
-In order to keep recollected and united with God in this life, insofar as possible, take advantage of all that you hear and see to raise your mind to God and to remind you of eternity. For example, when you look at water trickling from a leaking container, reflect that, in the same way, your life is ebbing away and death is drawing near..... When you view fields and seashores, flowers and fruits, which gladden you with their appearance or with their fragrance, say: "How many beautiful things God has made for me on this earth in order that I may love Him! What further delights He has for me in Heaven!"
- When you look at rivers and brooks, think that just as the waters run to the sea without ever stopping, so you too must always run to God, who is your only good....The sight of valleys made fertile by the waters running down from the mountains above should remind you that, in a similar manner, the grace of God is poured out on humble souls, but abandons the proud. When you see a beautiful church all decorated, consider the beauty of a soul in a state of grace- a real temple of God. When you see a fire, or candles burning on an altar, say: "How many years I should have been burning in Hell! But since, O Lord, You have preserved me from it, grant that my heart may burn with love for You as that fire, or those candles."
-During the day make frequent offerings of yourself to God, as St. Teresa of Avila was wont to do, by saying: "Here I am , O Lord; do with me what You please. Tell me what You wish me to do for You, and I will do it all." Repeat acts of love for God as often as you can. St. Teresa used to say that acts of love are like wood maintaining the fire of divine love kindled in our hearts.

No comments: