On the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, I made a list of the things that could be added to our spiritual life so as to improve it. This list is not in order of importance, though the first one would be like a spiritual home run!
1. Attend daily Mass
2. Spend 10 to 15 minutes each day reading the Bible. The New Testament is usually easier to grasp, but we shouldn't forget the Old Testament
3. Make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament each day. St. Brendan's is open from 8:00 AM to at least 8:00 P.M each day
4. Pray the Holy Rosary every day with your family, or when commuting. Both would be best
5. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet each day, or perhaps once per week on Fridays in memory of Christ's Passion
6. Practice a daily or weekly mortification. Remember, we are already supposed to practice a mortification on Fridays
7. Introduce yourself to the Liturgy of the Hours and pray Morning and Evening Prayer
8. Go to confession at least once a month
9. Read the Catechism of the Catholic Church for 10 to 15 minutes each day. It seems to be an imposing book, but there are ways in which one can use the book for profitable study
10. Get involved with some charitable activity each week, or once a month
11. Make a spiritual retreat
12. Visit the Catholic Answers website or some other good apologetical website so as to learn more how to defend our Faith
13. Daily or weekly send out good Catholic articles, pictures or videos on social media
14. Witness to people about your faith
15. Every week take the time to listen to a Catholic podcast or CD
16. Hand out good Catholic literature such as pamphlets, books, or holy cards. The latter can be very effective in encouraging devotion to the saints
17. In your daily prayers think of one thing to thank God for
18. Learn about a different saint each month
19. Make sure that you pray in the morning and before you retire for the night
20. Befriend someone who seems to be alone
The main point should not be to add evermore spiritual practices, but to make sure that our practices of prayer reflect the importance of God in our lives. Sometimes the best thing to do is to perfect a spiritual practice that we already have. For example, do we really pay attention to our prayers? or do we just run through them.
May the New Year be one of spiritual improvement for you!
-- Father Mullen