One Word: One Week Later

On January 1st, I chose my One Word for 2012: “Pray.” It’s one week later—how am I doing so far?

Better than I expected.

I have maintained my daily routine of morning and evening prayer without interruption. The key for me has been to pray as soon as I get up. I’ve set my alarm all week for 5:45 a.m. and upon rising I go straight to the bookcase at the end of the bed—which is also my prayer space—stand before my icons, take my prayer book in hand, and read the office. I rarely skip evenings if I don’t skip mornings, and so far I haven’t missed an evening office either.

I’ve also added the Rosary to my daily routine. I have tried several times since I joined the Catholic Church in April to take up this devotion, but I’ve never made it more than a few days before slacking off. Unlike the daily offices, which I’ve prayed on and off for eleven years, the Rosary is new to me. I didn’t grow up Catholic, so I never had the experience of learning it as a child. But I decided on January 1st (which happens to be the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God) to give it another try. Having taken on the word pray as my One Word, it seemed like an opportune time to start up a new prayer routine.

And I’ve done a better job remembering to say the Angelus three times a day. Due to my schedule, I don’t quite manage the traditional times of 6 a.m., Noon, and 6 p.m. but I have incorporated this prayer on the Incarnation in both Morning and Evening Prayer pretty consistently. The midday Angelus is the one I usually forget, but so far I’ve remembered it each day.

But all of this doesn’t mean much if my prayer isn’t making some difference in my life. It is. I found myself to be more patient this week, my temper has been more under my control, and I’ve managed for the most part to weigh my words more carefully before I speak. I noticed this last change in particular earlier this week, and posted about it on Twitter:

So after one week, I am already noticing a change in my actions thanks to my One Word. I know I’m likely to stumble at some point, but I hope that by establishing a set routine now I’ll be able to get right back up again when I do.

It’s never too late to start. If you want to try this out for yourself, go to One Word 365 and pick your own word for 2012. There’s over 500,000 to chose from!

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