One Word, One Hundred Days

On January 1, I chose my One Word for 2012. I chose it in a moment, after stumbling upon the link a few minutes before. It was the first word that entered my mind: “pray.”

I try to pray everyday, but I don’t always succeed. On the days I’m successful, I manage a morning and evening office. Usually, I make myself myself pray as soon as I get up— before I get busy with other things. When I forget to pray, or just put it off, I’m less likely to get back to it later that morning.

Without prayer, I’m more likely to have a bad day. To get impatient, to lose my temper, and to be more disagreeable in general. I suffer, my family suffers, and my work suffers because of it. Prayer anchors me.

I’ve posted two progress reports so far: the first after one week and the second after one month. Today, I’ve reached another milestone: one hundred days. How have I done?

It’s still a struggle, but little by little I’m getting better. Over the course of two months—February and March—I haven’t missed a single day of Morning or Evening Prayer. That is a big step for me: one I’ve been trying to accomplish for years. I still forget to pray the Rosary somedays, as well as the noonday Angelus, but I’m remembering  more often than not.

And, as I’ve noted before, prayer makes a difference. Not that I don’t stumble, but I stumble less often than I used to and I get to my feet faster each time. When I feel anger surging up—usually over something insignificant—I take a deep breath, say a short prayer, and feel the “peace the passes all understanding” washing over me like “water flowing from the right side of the temple.”

Alleluia.

Prayer is transforming me into a better version of me, the version of me that God always intended me to be. I am more penitent when I sin, more willing to ask for help when I need it, and more grateful for all the blessings of my life.

I recognize my dependence on God for everything more often than I used to, and—despite my frequent use of the pronouns “I” and “me” in this post—I hope that I am a bit more humble as a result.

To paraphrase Isaiah: Your ways, O Lord, are greater than my ways, and your thoughts greater than my thoughts.

Amen.

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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