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Manuel wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have two questions.

  • Is there a required amount of time that Catholics must pray each day?

I saw in an Examination of Conscience pamphlet that said it is a mortal sin not to pray for at least 15 minutes each day.

  • Following on that, if I spent a day only praying the Rosary and no other prayers, would that be sufficient for daily prayer?

Manuel

  { Is there a required amount of time Catholics must pray each day and is praying the Rosary enough? }

Paul replied:

Manuel,

There is no exact time directive that I know of for how much one should pray, other than what St. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17: Pray unceasingly. However, we must realize there are four basic types of prayer:

  1. vocal formal prayers
  2. vocal spontaneous prayer
  3. meditation, and
  4. contemplation.

While most people pray vocal prayers, meditation and contemplation are higher forms of prayer. They require thinking (about God, His Word, His saints, His creation, etc.) and simply being with God, contemplating His Truth and Love . . . allowing His Presence to envelop you. This is best done in silence or in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

Prayer is also very personal and circumstantial. People who work longer hours, for example, usually (but not always) pray less than those who have more time to pray. Yet, one can pray while working too, depending on the job. Then there's the notion of making one's whole day a prayer, offering up all the little mundane things we do to God to be placed in union with Jesus on the Cross for the salvation of souls. His suffering coupled with ours can change the world.

Common prayers include the Rosary, the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, Lectio Divina, the Divine Office, and litanies to Christ and the saints.

It's best to come up with a prayer regimen that fits your personality and your schedule but try to be consistent, and always be aware of God's goodness throughout the day, even in the midst of bad times.

Just my two cents.

Peace,

Paul

Mike replied:

Dear Manuel,

First for those not familiar with what an Examinations of Conscience is, this is what the (USCCB) United States Conference of Catholic Bishops states on their website:

Examinations of Conscience (Wikipedia)

Before celebrating the Sacrament of Penance, one should prepare oneself with an examination of conscience, which involves reflecting prayerfully on one's thoughts, words, and deeds in order to identify any sins.

Paul said:
Prayer is also very personal and circumstantial.  People who work longer hours, for example, usually (but not always) pray less than those who have more time to pray. Yet, one can pray while working too, depending on the job. Then there's the notion of making one's whole day a prayer, offering up all the little mundane things we do to God to be placed in union with Jesus on the cross for the salvation of souls. His suffering coupled with ours can change the world.

This part of Paul's very good answer falls into my view. Because I have a medical condition, five to six hours of cashiering (pure standing) can physically drain my legs. The only recourse I have is to get home and put my legs up for a good rest on my easy chair until the next day when I have to get to work again.

That said, before the start of each workday, I say a St. Joseph the Worker prayer:

Prayer to St. Joseph by Pope St. Pius X

O Glorious St. Joseph,
model of all who are devoted to labor,
obtain for me the grace to work in the spirit of penance in expiation of my many sins;
to work conscientiously by placing love of duty above my inclinations;
to gratefully and joyously deem it an honor to employ and to develop by labor the gifts I have received from Almighty God,
to work methodically, peacefully, and in moderation and patience, without ever shrinking from it, through weariness or difficulty to work;
above all, with purity of intention and unselfishness,
having unceasingly before my eyes death and the account I have to render of time lost, talents unused, good not done, and vain complacency in success,
so baneful to the work of God.
All for Jesus, all for Mary, all to imitate thee, O Glorious patriarch St. Joseph!

This shall be my motto for life and eternity.

Amen

I also ask the Holy Spirit to guide me in:

  • what I say and don't say for that day, and
  • in what I do and don't do . . . during the workday.

Why?

Because I trust the Holy Spirit working in me more than myself : ) LOL

Besides renewing your Christian covenant every Sunday at Mass, saying the Rosary on a daily basis would be fine, as would reading the Holy Scriptures on a daily basis for 15-20 minutes.

  • If your work permits it, I highly recommend going to daily Mass in the morning as well.
  • If work doesn't permit it, as the Lord to provide a way in which you can make this happen.

Mike

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