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.
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.”
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.