Darting to meetings and rapidly answering emails, our lives are filled to the brim with noise and bustle. As we spread ourselves thin and fill every bit of our day with work, class, friends, family, and even media, one can wonder: How can I possibly put God first if I have all of these obligations to meet?
Between traveling to proclaim the Gospel and encouraging the people of God, St. Paul is arguably one of the busiest men in Scripture. While Paul recognizes that the Christian life can often resemble a chaotic parish parking lot rather than a breezy Sunday stroll, he does tell us to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). However, in our society that praises productivity and multitasking, we can be left discouraged. As St. John Paul II would say, “Be not afraid!” Here are 10 tips on how to invite God into your daily grind:
1. Find a regular Sunday Mass time that consistently fits your schedule.
The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, so our weekends should reflect that as well. Daily Mass, even once a week if possible, draws us deeper into constantly living a life of worship.
#ProTip: Go to Masstimes.org to find various Mass times in your area if you have an event that comes up or you’re traveling.
2. Prayer before productivity!
Carve out a prayer time of at least 5 minutes per day, and communication with God will become a priority. God wants us to accomplish our tasks, and apart from Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).
3. Ora et labora
This saying from the Rule of St. Benedict means “pray and work.” Sanctify every task as an offering pleasing to God—doing the dishes, taking out the trash, or studying. Work that is done wholeheartedly puts us in a mindset of communicating with God through our actions.
4. In all circumstances, give thanks.
Thank God for at least 3 small blessings that seem like ordinary occurrences each day to acquire the habit of seeing God’s hand in all things.
5. Love the person in front of you.
Put down the phone and make small sacrifices to listen and receive your friends, family, and significant other. Daily practice of dying to self us draws closer to Christ in his sacrifice for us.
6. Silence is okay!!!
Challenge yourself to avoid music in the morning while you prepare for your day or not watch TV while you complete tasks. Silence is always beneficial; it allows us to hear the Holy Spirit speak to our hearts in still, small ways.
7. Tend to the temple of the Holy Spirit.
St. Paul proclaims that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), and small decisions to be healthier are great ways to take care them—set a goal to drink a certain amount of water each day or choose to take the stairs instead of squeezing into a packed elevator.
8. Schedule screen time.
Set a timer on your phone (iPhones now have the screen time feature), only allow yourself a small amount of screen time per day, or only scroll and post on certain days out of the week. This discipline will free up time in your day for prayer and hobbies that you don’t get to do often as well as stretch you to be disciplined in other aspects of your life.
9. Be mindful of your media.
Follow encouraging accounts or Catholic media outlets that strive to use the media for good rather than things that are hateful or will lead you into comparison.
10. Your music matters.
Music is a gift from God, and we should use it to please Him. As Philippians 4:8 encourages us to think on whatever is good, true, and noble, the music we listen to ought to encourage us to think on these things as well.
11. Grow what you know!
There are so many podcasts, Catholic media sites, books, or online videos that are informational and accessible. Seek to learn one new thing about God and your faith each day!
12. Consult God with your finances.
Every day purchases such as where we buy our coffee, clothes, or food matter to the good of society and are an invitation for us to monetarily make ethical decisions for the glory of God.
No one, including myself, is perfect at doing all of these things: that’s where God’s grace comes in to play. It may be beneficial to just pick two or three of these tips and slowly incorporate them into your daily routine. God values our efforts, sees them, and receives them with love. Our whole lives are a journey of growing in love, so take a step towards Him today by incorporating one or more of these tips!