As a refresher, the major goal during the first stage of the spiritual life of a Catholic man as a Catholic Son is to bring a man’s selfish thoughts and acts under control and to live his life as commanded by the Blessed Trinity so that he can resist the constant attacks and temptations of Satan and be an obedient and holy Catholic Son.
Major Habit 1 – Make Union with God your Ultimate Purpose
The first Major Habit is the most important. It is to realize and reconfirm that God is Number 1 in your life. For the man who desires to become a saint and be happier here and happy forever in Heaven, seeking to draw closer to God must become man’s ultimate desire.
Making union with God a man’s ultimate purpose leads a man to develop a strong aversion to evil thoughts and acts and to avoid Hell, but also fills a man with the desire to find the true and lasting happiness of spending eternity with God, the Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph, all the Apostles, and Saints and Angels forever.
Seeking Union with God (Major Habit 1) can be broken down into 6 smaller habits.
During the 2nd week of the year, Habit 2 is the focus.
Habit 2 – Engage in Daily Deep Prayer
The entry into any relationship is conversation; every love (a man with his wife and children) and friendship with another requires building and strengthening a relationship through conversation.
Building a relationship with God – Just as a man builds a relationship with a person, a man can and must build a relationship with God. And just like relationships with others can bring comfort, drawing close to God and building a deep and abiding relationship can fill a man with peace and joy.
Prayer is how a relationship with God is built – Every Catholic man must strive and succeed in building a rich prayer life to imitate Jesus Christ so he can grow in holiness and receive the true and lasting happiness Jesus promises. Building that relationship with God through prayer is both a necessity and challenge.
Commit to have a real conversation with God – Just like any person, a man can and must develop a habit of having an ongoing conversation with God. Simply put, just begin speaking and listening to God as if He is really present. Here is some more discussion about how to have a real conversation with God.
Listen and speak to God frequently through out the day – Jesus, the saints, and the Church reveal a man can listen and speak to God throughout the day. Being in frequent conversation with God, being in the “Presence of God”, is a habit like any other which a man can learn and practice. Applying how habits are built with the goal of listening and speaking with God throughout the day can reveal many concrete examples to help a man remain in conversation with God more frequently.
Explore the rich treasury of Catholic prayer – The Church over the centuries has built a great treasury of prayers which have been passed down for generations because of the prayers’ effectiveness at bringing blessings to those who prayer them. If you’d like to dig in deeper, see this excellent compendium of Catholc prayer to fit every need and circumstance.
This week’s questions – Each week there is a few questions to help you meditate upon the habit of the week. Here are this week’s questions:
Why will speaking and listening to God more frequently each day be a blessing to me?
What are some concrete ways which I can begin to build the habit of having a regular conversation with God?
This week’s commitment – Making a habit a reality requires commitment to concrete action. Here is this week’s challenge:
Mark your calendar and set an alarm for a specific time in the morning upon first rising to spend 5 minutes in prayer every day. Do the same for the evening.
By making this appointment with God, you will be blessed. Keep your appointments!
Daily Prayer – During the week, pray this short prayer, or one like it, to help you grow in the hunger to build a deep daily prayer life:
Almighty Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I know that you want to speak with me much more than I have wanted to speak and listen to You. Forgive me. Give me the grace to build a daily habit for every day for the rest of my life to speak to You at least twice a day, upon waking up and before going to sleep. Never let me forget to speak to You again! Amen.