How to fit more devotions into our busy lives

Pope Francis recently visited Fatima, Portugal, where he spoke to 200,000 pilgrims. While there, he proclaimed a new devotional title for Mary, “Our Lady in a Hurry.” While this title describes how Mary hastens to care for all her children, it also resonates with each of us because we’re always “in a hurry.”

Our days are full, and we feel like we haven’t a moment to spare. Yet our souls cry out for God’s peace, and we long to be closer to him. Here are some devotions that may fit into your daily life.

The devotion to sleeping St. Joseph

This devotion began with South American and Filipino Catholics, but is now worldwide. Since the Bible shows us that God communicated to St. Joseph in his dreams, this devotion allows us to “sleep” on our petitions — to dream of them and offer them up to Christ.

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Obtain a statue of a sleeping St. Joseph and place your intentions under the statue. Pray this prayer once, or as a novena: “Dear St. Joseph, please take my petitions and place them in the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When you dreamed of the coming of the Savior, you were obedient to God’s Will. Please help me to discern God’s will for me and to be obedient to it. Amen.”

The Jesus Prayer

Make every breath a prayer. Recite “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God” while inhaling and “have mercy on me, a sinner” while exhaling.

This is a beloved tradition among Eastern Catholics.

The Divine Mercy Prayer

This prayer can be used any time for any petition, and the Sacred Heart will hear you.

“O blood and water, which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of Mercy for us, I trust in you.”

(Continue) “Please grant ______ the grace of… (salvation, healing, fortitude, wisdom, patience, etc.).”

The Three Hail Mary’s pledge

This devotion was revealed to St. Melchtilde in the 13th century, with the promise of a good death if faithful to it every day.

The practice is to recite three Hail Mary’s twice a day in the morning and evening, in honor of the three great privileges:

  1. Mary was preserved from original sin.
  2. Mary was a perpetual virgin.
  3. Mary was assumed into heaven.

Add this prayer at the end: in the morning, “O my Mother, preserve me from mortal sin during this day,” and in the evening, “O my Mother, preserve me from mortal sin during this night.” Add your own personal prayer and petitions.

There are other versions of this devotion, but I chose this one to share.

Wearing the Miraculous Medal

The design of the Miraculous Medal originated in heaven with Our Blessed Mother. On the night of July 18, 1830, Sister Catherine Laboure was awakened by her guardian angel and summoned to the chapel. The Blessed Mother was waiting for her and told Sister Catherine that she had a special mission for her.

Our Mother described the medal she wanted to be created. The first medals were struck on June 30, 1832. From France, the devotion spread all over the world. It became known as miraculous because of the many miracles attached to it.

It is not a superstition or “good luck” charm but a sacramental approved by the Church. It should signify our devotion to Mary. The Church says that the wearer, according to Mary’s promise, will receive “great graces.” We need only to ask.

Act of Contrition

We think of this prayer when we’re going to confession, but it’s a nice prayer to say during a busy day. It shows God that we’re truly sorry for our sins and want to do better.

“O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee. I detest all my sins because of thy just punishment, but most of all because they offend Thee, My God, who art all good and deserving of all my love. Amen.”

The Morning Offering

This prayer starts our day off right, offering God everything that we will experience.

“O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.”

Hail Mary

The Hail Mary has helped me through many challenging days. Whenever you’re feeling depressed, overwhelmed, doubting your faith, your relationships, start saying the Hail Mary over and over to yourself. This has never failed to calm me and those around me. I would call it miraculous.

The Rosary

I know what you’re thinking, that the Rosary takes time, especially if we meditate on the mysteries. But it’s worth it.

Let me tell you a quick story. We had a wonderful deacon at our church. He often preached about the Rosary in his sermons. When Deacon Lawrence suddenly dropped dead at the age of 63, he left behind an inspiring legacy of devotion, especially to the Rosary.

He had often shared that the Rosary was a way to bring inner peace and world peace. But he knew we were crowded with other obligations. He said, “You can recite a decade while getting ready in the morning. If you have a commute to work, use this time. You can pray a decade while waiting in line at the DMV, grocery shopping, in the shower. It not only makes your waiting time productive, but powerful. You can take a week to say the Rosary. And while you’re praying the Hail Mary’s, you learn to be patient.”

The Rosary can accomplish so much in our lives and in the lives of others. Don’t let the 15-minute commitment scare you away. Find ways to pray it more often.

Devotions and prayer add so much to our daily lives, as busy as they are. By fitting them in and sharing our burden with the Lord, life becomes more joyful and peaceful.

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