Tagged: memory

5 Ways to Stay Focused in Prayer

I admit I am not the most focused when I pray. It seems like as soon as I get down on my knees, everything that I was trying to think of the entire day (week) pops into my head.

Oh, I forgot to…
I should have…
I didn’t…
What is she wearing?
I would never do that.
I don’t think I am the only one that gets distracted in prayer, but it’s something I work on (a lot).
These are a few things that help me.

1. Close your eyes.

     This is sort of obvious. I see little kids praying, and they always close their eyes.
     This immediately cuts any distraction from vision. (Now, if people could just be quiet…)
     Honestly, closing your eyes eliminates the use of one of our senses, and it eliminates things in our line of sight to think about.
     Try it. It helps.

2. Pray slowly. Speak prayers out loud. Slow down.

     It’s super easy to rattle off a prayer in your head.
     It’s easy to skip words, too, or have them all just flow together.
     Instead, write them. Or speak them slowly. Pause where commas are in the prayer. Stop at periods.
     It’s OK to repeat sentences, too. Remember, you’re talking to God (Jesus or Mary or Joseph or …). They’re all so patient.
     They have time to listen to us. They are not rushed friends or husbands (wives, bosses, coworkers…). They’re in Heaven, and they’re waiting for us.

3. Repetition is key.

     Three times means you really mean it. That’s why we say things three times during the liturgy.
     Getting bored with the Rosary? It’s a lot of Hail Marys.
     Well, ease into the words. Try to imagine being there when Mary was greeted and told the good news.
     Try to imagine Elizabeth.
     Yes, there are mysteries to meditate on as well. Bored with those?
     Think of the smallest detail. For example, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
          What was she wearing? Were her eyes closed? Imagine watching her being taken into Heaven.
     When we repeat words and prayers, it’s easier to imagine those things because we aren’t thinking about the words anymore.
     Contrary to #2, it’s OK to glide over the words to see the bigger picture (sometimes).

4. Write it out.

     I mentioned writing down prayers in #2.
     But also, write down your personal petitions. I used to (and want to start again) keep a running list during the days of my little wishes or of people who needed Jesus’ mercy (everyone!).
     Seriously, though, we see people that we don’t know, but we know they could use prayers (again, everyone). Write it down.
     I used an index card when I did this earlier in my life. Then at the end of the day, I’d unfold the card and say a Hail Mary (or any prayer) for each individual.
     We don’t always have to pray for ourselves or just people directly in our lives.
     Remember to get your loved ones that have died on the list, too. After you pray for them, ask them to pray for you.

5. Silence isn’t bad.

     So you finished your prayers really fast, quick like a bunny (obviously you didn’t read earlier numbers in this list).
     OK, now what? It’s too soon to get off the kneeler in Church.
     Keep your eyes closed, and just ask for peace, wisdom, charity, anything. Ask for reason. Ask for focus during Mass.
     This is good to do if you’re praying at home, too. Ask Jesus to help you focus while you’re praying.
     Then, just wait.
     Try to empty your mind. God can’t always fit in among your grocery list, work schedule and phone bill. Let it all go.
     I visualize leaving my problems and issues at the foot of the cross. I imagine setting down my electric bill at the foot of the cross. I imagine shedding my body image issues at the foot of the cross.
     Each thing, I put there individually.
     Then I breathe. And I wait.
God bless.

Seven Quick Takes Friday (Vol. Where have you been?)

quick takes

— 1 —

Where have I been?
Oh right…
writing, reading, book club, baking, finding a new apartment (not finding a new apartment yet), running, finishing C25K, running a 5K, training for a 4-mile run in August, watching, growing, planting, weeding, on the lake… it’s been busy.

I’ve been doing summer like I’ve always wanted to do summer. I’m the tannest I’ve been since I was a kid because I’m spending so much time out side – weeding the garden, reading, working.
I like it. I like being outside. I like being in the garden, I like dirt under my nails.

It’s been great so far.
I have also been trying to get back into writing some fiction.
I was going to submit to a competition last month… and I didn’t. I just couldn’t get around to doing a final edit after I had my boss read it.

I’ve been busy in the good sense of the word.

— 2 —

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this on here, but I’ve started a tumblr blog for all my fitness/running/health stuff.
I am by no means a super-fit or healthy person. I have a huge sweet tooth and I love peanut butter M&Ms. It happens.
If you’re into twitter and not so important ramble, check me out at jaderuns.tumblr.com. Or don’t. I’ll be OK.
Mostly it’s just to keep me accountable.
I want to make sure I’m running and doing the things I want to do.

— 3 —

I’m moving at the end of the month… still haven’t found a place, but I’m set on leaving where I’m currently at.
This will keep me away from the blog for a while yet still.
I just don’t consider this my priority.
After the move, my budget priorities are a new bed then a new computer… but I might have to suck it up and get a (new used) car first.
so a computer may be way in the future.
I just don’t have a lot of time to write blog posts at work.

And really, I just want to write and research for my posts at home with good coffee. 🙂
Pajamas not vital but good.

— 4 —

In other news Pope John Paul II is becoming (is?) a saint! wooooohooo! too awesome.

— 5 —

maybe this is important, I have been at my current news writing job for a year and three days today (Friday).

— 6 —

This is less important, I am going to buy a swimsuit and go swimming in my lake soon.
This month. There. I said it, I’m accountable for that. It should happen.

— 7 —

Here’s a photo.


To be honest, I edited this photo… there was a guy on a jetski in the middle.

Have a great weekend!
God bless.

Make sure to check out everyone else’s posts at Conversion Diary! They actually post regularly, unlike me.

I just realized it’s a month to the day since I last posted. My apologies!