To help men develop the virtuous habit of prayer and draw closer to God through a variety of powerful prayers which have inspired the hearts and souls of men across the centuries, the Devotional proposes an example approach to prayers which a man can explore and use based on where he is in his personal spiritual life.
The Daily Prayer Routine
The Daily Prayer Routine section which follows is organized based on the natural rhythms of a man’s life in the 5 Day-parts. For each Day-part, a selection of prayers are included which a man can pray.
For two Day-parts, Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer, the 7 step “logic of prayer” is used which can help a man ensure he is praying the various important parts of prayer the Church calls him to pray.
By following the Devotional prayer routine, a man can be blessed in a number of ways: he can have confidence in his prayer routine because it is based on the Church’s teaching, he can experience a rich variety of prayers every week to inspire and form himself, he can speak with the same prayers which have formed Saints, he can draw closer to the entire Communion of Saints in his prayer life, and he can receive Partial Indulgences for the remission of the “temporal punishment” for his own sins or the sins of another in Purgatory.
Some men at some times, may prefer to pray shorter prayers and a “Shorter Prayer Routine” is included for Morning and Evening prayer.
Additional Catholic Men’s Prayer Resources
The Devotional also includes additional prayer resources which a Catholic man can build into his prayer life, in his Daily Prayer Routine, on a weekly, monthly, or seasonal basis, or to get special help in the spiritual combat: prayers to the Almighty Father, Son and Holy Spirit; prayers to Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary, including the Rosary; prayers to St. Joseph, prayers to the Saints and the Angels, prayers for the Church and clergy, prayers for the sick, the dying and the faithfully departed, prayers to pray when receiving the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, prayers for Husbands and Fathers. Those prayers which are specifically designated for the granting of Indulgences in The Manual of Indulgences are noted (designated, MOI); other prayers are from The Raccolta (designated, “Rac”) or from the rich tradition of Catholic prayers from earlier days which are helpful to men today.
Given the daily spiritual combat to battle against vice and sin and grow in virtue and holy acts, the Devotional also provides the thirteen Every Catholic Man Litanies of Virtue which are focused on helping men grow in virtue and battle vice. There are Litanies for each of the Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope and Charity), the Cardinal Virtues (Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, and Temperance) and the 7 Heavenly Virtues to battle the 7 Deadly Sins (Humility/Pride, Meekness/Wrath, Chastity/Lust, Temperance/Gluttony, Diligence/Sloth, Generosity/Greed, Kindness/Envy). The Every Catholic Man Litanies of Virtue can be privately used to help a man ask for God’s specific help to grow in needed virtues to overcomes the vices he is battling at any particular point in his life.
Seeking Sainthood by building a robust prayer life
At first glance, the length and number of prayers across the Day-parts and the Additional Catholic Men’s Prayer Resources, and particularly in the Morning Prayer section, may seem to be excessive to some men. The collection of prayers is purposeful for a number of reasons which are focused on helping every Catholic man on his pilgrimage to Heaven:
The path to Sainthood takes hard work
Every Catholic man needs to understand the spiritual combat is a life and death struggle and the pilgrimage to Heaven is not easy. Those who are accepted into Heaven are Saints, and to become a Saint is not easy for men are mired in sin, constantly tempted by Satan and the perfection of Sainthood is impossible to achieve by a man’s own efforts “to be good”; good is not good enough, only those perfect in holiness become Saints. Consider the multitude of holy prayers and acts that the Saints pray over their lifetime and most men’s meager prayer life; the Saints know they constantly need God’s reliable and powerful help to be received into Heaven and they constantly petition God to make them holy. Putting in the effort to build a rich and deep prayer life is necessary for every Catholic man who wishes to become a Saint.
The Daily Prayer Routine and the Additional Catholic Men’s Prayer Resources include many of the prayers which have built Saints over the centuries and can be easily referenced and prayed by every Catholic man who wishes to grow in their prayer lives on the path to Heaven.
Systematic prayer routines are a foundation of the Church
Imitating Jesus, the Apostles themselves had a rigorous prayer routine which they practiced each day (Acts 2:42; and dozens of other examples in the Book of Acts). Building upon what was handed down, over time, the Church developed The Liturgy of the Hours, the routine of prayer which priests, deacons and religious are required to pray daily. The Church later developed various additional approaches to help the laity who live in the world build a daily routine of prayer, including the Rosary. Over time, the Church developed various prayers and prayer books which were designed for the laity to use which included daily routines and many prayers.
In recent times, many of the beautiful and powerful prayer routines and practices which faithful Catholics prayed for generations have been lost. The Daily Prayer Routine offer a synthesis of many of the traditional prayer routines found in classic Catholic prayer and devotional books which have been prayed by laity for centuries.
A Prayer Routine is necessary to respond to the Church’s call to pray
While every Catholic man can and should pray in open conversation with God throughout his day in his own words, the Catholic Church has long encouraged men to pray specific vocal prayers which the Church has deemed to be powerful for spiritual formation and when petitioning God. The long history of Indulgences guided men to pray many prayers which were listed in the The Raccolta, a systematic collection of over 700 prayers and practices, and updated in 1999 and simplified in The Manual of Indulgences, which includes over 100 different prayers and practices which the Church urges men to take on.
Most men cannot pray all the prayers the Church offers men to grow in holiness, but every Catholic man can begin to pray more of the prayers which the Church emphasizes for growth in a holy prayer life. The Daily Prayer Routine and the Additional Catholic Men’s Prayer Resources offer a broad and rich list of prayers which span many of the areas in which men need help.
Praying for impact and formation
There are multiple ways that formal prayers from Catholic tradition can help every Catholic man grow in holiness, including the immediate and lasting impact of having a conversation with God, the Saints and Angels and receiving help, and becoming more fully formed in his understanding of the Catholic faith.
The prayers included in the Devotional draw on the rich tradition of Catholic prayer and can be relied upon to receive the help from God, the Saints and Angels in answer to a man’s prayers; these are the prayers which the Church endorses and have helped men for generations.
But the prayers also can have a great impact on forming a man’s heart and soul. Embedded in traditional Catholic prayers are the theology and catechesis through which the Church proclaims the Truth of Christ and His Holy Catholic Church. By investing in praying a broad variety of prayers, particularly the Litanies, every Catholic man’s heart, mind and soul can be reminded of the deep truths of the Church and to have the truths enter into how a man views the world and lives his life; by praying these Catholic prayers, a man’s conscience is continually formed and he can accelerate his progress in the ascent towards Heaven.
Building your own prayer routine
Every Catholic man is at different places in his spiritual ascent towards Heaven, from those who have recently entered the Church to those who are nearing the end of their lives, from those who have awakened with new desire to grow in prayer to those who have been vigilantly practicing prayer for decades, and from those who have many commitments in the world which limits the time they can spend in prayer to those who have much time to devote to growing in their prayer life. Every Catholic man is different, but every Catholic man is called by God and the Holy Catholic Church to put forth his best efforts to grow in faith.
The Daily Prayer Routine provides a way for every Catholic man to learn about the rich tradition of prayer in the Church and is meant to be used as a guide which each man can use to build his own routine. Some men have the desire and time to take on significant commitments to pray and will build a habit of praying The Daily Prayer Routine with all its prayers and options. Others, will not find The Daily Prayer Routine useful or possible at the present time and prefer to pray their own short versions of prayer or perhaps use the shorter Every Catholic Man Morning and Evening Prayers.
Where ever you are in your prayer life, please consider investing the time to read, study and pray through The Daily Prayer Routine to learn about the various types of prayers which the Church emphasizes; if you don’t use The Daily Prayer Routine each day, it may be helpful to establish a practice to pray it periodically to remind you of the various prayers which may be helpful to you in your current spiritual battle to grow in holiness.
Whatever the way you personally decide to pray, make the commitment to begin and sustain your own daily prayer routine and build the prayer habit so you can draw closer to God and more fully receive the happiness He desires to give you.