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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back to School: Simple Things to Enrich the Prayer Life of Catholic Students

Well, it's about that time of year again. The time where the freedom of summer fades away and the shackles of school are once again bound to children. This being said, this is a great time to think about things you can do to nurture your prayer and sacramental life. Here, I provide a short list

  • Pray Daily
      I can't emphasize this one enough. If you don't take time out of your busy schedule for the day to pray, it is like telling God that you don't want to nurture and strengthen the relationship between you and him. Any time used for prayer works certainly does not go to waste.
  • Attend Daily Mass
      Receiving our Lord in the Eucharist (if you haven't committed a mortal sin) every Sunday is certainly good. However, we should try to receive the Eucharist as much as possible. Daily Mass allows us to hear the word of God and to receive Jesus in the most blessed sacrament of the Eucharist. In fact, who WOULDN'T want to receive Jesus everyday?
  • Pray the Rosary
       Having a devotion to Our Lady is highly recommended and something we should strive to have. The rosary is a powerful spiritual weapon, so powerful that "The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies." Satan obviously hates this and does all he can to derail it. One of the promises of Our Lady is "It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of people from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things." The goal of the church is the salvation of souls. In this day and age, we need to do all that we can to help with this. I am sure you can find some time in your day to pray the rosary, and it doesn't have to be the whole 5 decades (although the full 5 decades is the optimal goal). If you can only say 1 or 2 decades, say them. If you need more convincing, Our Lady has said that "Whoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life." and "Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plentitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the Saints in Paradise." (more promises of our lady can be found at, parts in quotes in this paragraph are also taken from this link).
  • Attend Adoration/Benediction when Offered
      Praying before the Blessed Sacrament is a wonderful thing to do. With Adoration/Benediction, Jesus is out there and right in front of you, so you can talk with him. Actually, with prayer, you always talk with God, but this allows you to spend some personal prayer time with him. Spending time doing this will definitely strengthen your prayer life, and the prayer life of the parish community in which you are a part of.
  • Go to Confession
       Even if you haven't been to confession in quite a while, GO! Frequent confession helps us to stay in a pure state and renew ourselves with God, as sin (both mortal and venial) blackens the soul and makes the divide between you and God even bigger. Let us be reminded, that on the Dies Irae (or Day of Wrath), even 1(!) MORTAL sin can keep you out Heaven, Permanently. Confess your sins to the priest in both number (how many times you did the sin) and kind (basically, the type of sin, like sexual sins, for example), and be truly sorry for what sins you have committed. The priest will grant you absolution from your sins, and will most likely give you a penance to do. Part of being truly sorry for your sins is trying your very best to stay away from committing that sin (or anything that may cause you to commit that sin).

This is just a small list of things that students can do to strengthen their prayer life. If you are already doing all of this and want something a little more advanced, pray the Divine Office (a.k.a. Liturgy of the Hours).

And now, a final few words for students either going off to college for the first time or returning to college. Make sure that you continue to go to Mass even if it is the "unpopular" thing to do. Once you stop going to Mass, you sever a big connection in your prayer life between God and you. Prayer and attending Mass on Sunday (or even more frequent, like the suggestion for Daily Mass given above) help you stay "in sync" with God, and things can only get better.

So, do you already do any of these suggestions? Have I inspired you to start doing any of these suggestions? Do you have any thoughts or questions about this? Please make all known via the comment box below, or via e-mail (e-mail address is If you send it via e-mail, I will try to cover your query at the end of my next article (or maybe, perhaps, a post in the comment box). You can also follow me on twitter as well (username is @rctechgeek).

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