5 Totally Doable Spiritual Practices

How to add a dose of spirituality to your daily life

5doablespiritualpracticesHoliness … kind of an intimidating word, right? Did you know the Church teaches that we are all called to holiness? What does holiness mean, anyway? According to my oldest child (a very opinionated and precocious first grader who likes to give his expert opinion on everything), holiness is being best friends with God. How do we befriend God?

Use these five unintimidating spiritual practices to get started:

  1. The Heart Diet

    No, it has nothing to do with cutting down on your cholesterol (she types as she devours her morning bagel smothered in cream cheese). This is thinking about how what we consume with our eyes and ears affects our spiritual well-being. Does the music blasting from your headphones on your morning commute lift up your heart and mind to God? Does the website you’re browsing encourage you to think charitably and respectfully about your fellow human beings? Does the TV show you’re watching before bed help you unwind, or does it wind up your appetite for stuff and scandal? Making a daily habit of asking ourselves these kinds of questions can help us maintain a healthy diet for our hearts and souls. St. Paul said it best: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

  2. Heed the Siren’s Call

    We’ve developed a little practice at our house of stopping whatever we’re doing when we hear a siren to say a “Hail Mary” for those in trouble and those speeding to their aid. Taking a minute to stop our day to pray for someone in crisis reminds us to let the needs of others penetrate our hearts. St. Vincent de Paul describes it this way: “We should strive to keep our hearts open to the sufferings and wretchedness of other people, and pray continually that God may grant us that spirit of compassion which is truly the spirit of God.”

  3. Come, Let Us Adore Him

    Pope Benedict XVI said, “In a world where there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host.” Have you ever been to Adoration? Adoration is when we spend quiet time in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Try making it to Adoration once a month. Here’s some great inspiration from one of my favorite saints, St. Thérèse the Little Flower, to help you get there: “Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you — for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart … don’t listen to the demon, laugh at him, and go without fear to receive the Jesus of peace and love.”

  4. Up the Ante

    Make a spiritual practice to not give people what they deserve. Bear with me here. You know that snarky e-mail you got? The one to which an equally snarky reply would be totally justified? Well, what about replying to it with kindness? Remember that person who said that awful thing about you to your colleagues or friends? What if, instead of blasting them for being a gossip (and other less polite words), you made a point of saying something charitable (and true!) about them to others? The point is: make a daily practice of giving better than you get. It’s about cultivating mercy and forgiveness in your heart. Every time you’re presented with the opportunity to show love and mercy in the face of nastiness and gall, remember the love and mercy that are yours from Christ. As St. Peter put it: “Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but, on the contrary, a blessing, because to this you were called, that you might inherit a blessing.” (1 Peter 3:9)

  5. Pray the Rosary 

    I know daily rosary can seem daunting, but give it an honest try! There’s nothing like the rosary to draw our minds to the truth of the faith, to draw our hearts to Our Blessed Mother, and to draw our souls closer to God. Hard to find time in your day? Here’s some holy advice from St. Josemaría Escrivá: “You always leave the Rosary for later, and you end up not saying it at all because you are sleepy. If there is no other time, say it in the street without letting anybody notice it. It will, moreover, help you to have presence of God.”