Oct 29, 2023 filed under Living Virtue, Love, Prayer.

Pray always

A participant in my Pray Like a Saint program said, “My grandmother talked about praying always. But I never knew exactly what she meant or how to do it.”

Interesting question, right?

Because if we take it at face value, we may beat ourselves up or feel like a failure if we’re not living up to what we think it means. We can be tempted to strain toward something that God didn’t intend, which can cause us even more anxiety—that is, if we think it’s about us.

What did St. Paul mean by “Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit (1 Thess. 5:17-19)?

There’s no one answer, but the surrounding text gives us a clue. Paul’s admonition is followed by “In all circumstances, give thanks….” That is, if we thank God throughout the day when both pleasant and unpleasant things happen, we’re growing in love of God’s will.

Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, S.C. unpacks this wonderfully in her book Greater Perfection.  She solves the puzzle of what it is to “pray without ceasing” by expanding our notion of prayer.

That is, outside our formal prayer time, we are either trying to do God’s will moment-by-moment or we are not. If we intend to do God’s will and shun anything that draws us from it, she says, we are praying always.

A disposition for prayer
A commitment to do God’s will and not our own grows out of one thing: love for God. And love for God grows out of prayer.

So, for the man or woman whose prayer is strengthening his love for God, Blessed Miriam Teresa says that God more and more will “dwell in him, live in him continually, become the very life of his life and the sole and principal source of all his activity.”

In other words, in this fallen world, to pray always means to do what it takes (shunning what draws us away from God) to fall more and more in love with God’s will that he may more and more think and act and love through us.

She calls this growing in openness to doing God’s will “a disposition of prayer,” which counts as praying always.

She writes: “If we really loved God as we should, we would love Him always, twenty-four hours in the day. If we loved Him always, we would want to…converse with Him always. And this would be to pray always. By preserving the disposition for prayer during the entire day, and the night, too, we are praying always, and consequently proving our love for Him continually. Do you begin to see the necessity for the sprit of prayer, the spirit of recollection, the spirit of mortification?”

How to get there
And how can we practice the spirit of prayer, recollection, and mortification in this fallen and distracting world?

  • A spirit of prayer is the willingness to seek God’s will throughout our day.
  • A spirit of recollection is to avoid thoughts that draw us away from God.
  • A spirit of mortification is to shun pleasures that draw us away from loving God’s will above all.

We’ve heard that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. But intentions made through a sincere desire to grow in love of God are the way to heaven. Only in heaven will we have complete union with God. For now, if we resolve to grow in love for God’s will, he makes up for the rest.

Good, good Father
Blessed Miriam Teresa reminds us: “Look into the face of the Father, and, seeing what you see—love, infinite yearning love—cast yourself into His outstretched arms, and clinging to His neck, kiss Him in sorrow and purpose of amendment. He does not remember the past. He is the Eternal Now. Your desire which He views with delighted complacency pleases Him more than you think. In His sight—how different from that of men—the desire, if incapable of accomplishment, is as good as the act.”

Scroll down and share one thing you could do to help you grow in love of God today. My answer is easy: I’m attending Mass followed by a Eucharistic Procession through the streets of Rockville, Maryland. Come, Lord Jesus!

Love always,

13 Responses to “One Way to Pray Always”

  1. Margaret

    How beautiful! I’ve found myself asking my guardian angel to finish my prayers if I start to nod off and I whisper snatches of the rosary when I’m half awake in bed at night. I wonder if I could send my angel ahead to prepare for a visit that’s long overdue…I’m having anxiety about physically being present.
    Thank you for this email. It meant a lot to me.

  2. Marianne Sibal

    My Adorable Jesus,
    May our feet journey together
    May our hands gather in unity
    May our hearts beat in unison
    May our souls be in harmony
    May our thoughts be as one
    May our ears listen to the silence together
    May our glances profoundly penetrate each other and
    May our lips pray together to beg the Father to gain mercy. Amen

    • Judi Wiktor

      “The Unity Prayer” I pray this everyday. It also is related to the flame in the Heart of Mary.
      Thank you for thinking to share this on face book. I pass out this prayer card in my church.
      Just curious where & how you started praying this prayer.

  3. Judi Wiktor

    This was a beautiful & helpful article hoping that I can remember much of it in my brain & heart.
    I do offer up every second of my day up as a prayer in union with all those praying in Heaven, on earth & in Purgatory with all the Masses now, ever were or will be.
    I grow in love of God each day especially by being there for my daughter to listen For she has mental health
    issues as I do also & to anyone who needs someone to listen to them non judgementally & with compassion. I do go to Mass 6 days a week & stay for Rosary group. I also try to get to adoration once
    a week & other spiritual services in our Diocese. I am jealous of your beautiful night you had last night with like minded people around a camp fire w/spiritual meaning. Sounds like such fun. God bless!!!!

    Don’t know what happened my comment disappeared so here it goes again.

  4. Lucy Edwards

    Thank you Rose for all these spiritual praying devotion as sometimes I I remain optimistic when problems overwhelm me but my faith in god is always present during my struggles and he continually strengthens my faith when I call upon him.
    I m delightful to know your services around a camp w/ spiritual meaning God Bless you always.


  5. Diane Colletti Boyle

    I pray and thank God whenever I see or feel something happening because of him.

  6. Guadalupe

    My husband and I pray the rosary every night before bed, I like reflecting in the mysteries of the rosary and try to conect each mystery to actual situations in my life or in the world. I dedicate each day of the week for a different need. For example on Mondays I pray for the souls in purgatory, on Tuesday for our blessed mother sorrows etc. etc.

  7. Diane Upham

    Dear Rose,
    To me, you are St Thomas in Spirit.
    The Heavenly messages you pray to us are all daily blessings!
    We are so thankful for your special understanding.
    God Bless You!!!

  8. Tom Roberts

    The very beginning of the day was critical. I needed to get myself launched with enthusiasm for the duties at hand. My prayers took/take the form of a “Pre-flight cockpit checklist.” It’s a guy thing; it works.

  9. Dorothy Huggins

    I also attended mass last night for All Saints day and today for all souls day bless you Rose for your writings🙏🏻🤗