We often find ourselves so caught up in the hustle and bustle and routine of our everyday lives that we forget about the most important part of our lives -- our relationship with God!
Between back-to-school meetings and soccer games this fall, refocus some of your energy on prayer and thank God for all your blessings.
Prayer is one of the most important aspects of our Catholic faith. Here are three fun and easy ways you and your family can create new traditions of prayer.
1. The Rosary
This prayer is easy to learn and fun to do with a large group of people. Devoted to the Virgin Mary, the Rosary is a sequence of mysteries and decades recalling important events in the life of Jesus. The Hail Mary is recited over and over again along with other common prayers like the Our Father and Glory Be.
So pull out those old Rosary beads your aunt gave you for your First Communion and give it a try. If you have never prayed the Rosary before, or if it has been a while since the last time you did, you can look up directions.
Why not invite neighbors, family, and friends to your house one evening per week to pray the Rosary together? Pass out copies of the prayers and share dessert afterward. This is a great way to spend time with loved ones, and there’s nothing like the power of a large-group prayer.
2. Pope Francis’s Five Finger Prayer
This prayer is simple yet powerful because it reminds us of those in the world who need our prayers the most. All you need are your hands!
Back when he was an Archbishop in Argentina, Pope Francis created this prayer that reflects his selflessness and compassion.
Here are the five steps of the prayer, according to Catholic Online:
- Start with the thumb. It is closest to us, so it reminds us to pray for the people in our lives who are closest to us.
- The index finger is next. Pray for the people who instruct, teach, and heal us like teachers, doctors, and mentors.
- The middle finger is the tallest. This reminds us to pray for those who have authority, such as church and government leaders.
- The fourth finger, the ring finger, is the weakest. We pray for the weak, sick, poor and vulnerable people of the world.
- The last finger is the smallest, and it reminds us to pray for ourselves. Once we have finished praying for others, we can more clearly understand our own needs.
3. The Labyrinth
Cool and crisp fall is the perfect time to learn to pray the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth is a meditative prayer representing the Christian spiritual journey. Some of the most beautiful and peaceful labyrinths are located outdoors.
The labyrinth is a complex path that resembles a maze, but it is not a maze at all, actually. You cannot get lost on the labyrinth. There is one winding path that leads to the center, and one path that leads back to the outside. As you travel closer and further from the center, reflect on the people and things in your life that bring you closer or pull you away from God.
Find a Catholic church in your area that offers opportunities to pray the Labyrinth and see why so many Catholics find joy and relaxation in this prayer.