Strengthen the Desire to listen and speak with God more frequently

1) Grow in desire to do God’s will – Strengthen your desire to listen and speak to God more frequently by building the desire and mindset of always seeking to do His will. 

2) Recognize the blessings of listening and speaking more frequently with God – Meditate upon the blessings of being in conversation with God to build the desire to listen and speak to God more frequently. 

3) Beg God to strengthen the desire to pray more frequently – Resolve to build a habit of frequently listening and speaking to God throughout the day and beg God to give you the desire to do so.  

4) Eradicate the desire for non-essential media – Consider an extended fast from media (30 days), especially media which is addictive and is unhelpful for becoming a saint. 

5) Set big aspirations to listen and speak to God more – Consider setting a daily stretch goal to raise the mind to God in terms of some significant portion of your 1000 waking minutes.

6) Frequently profess your love and loyalty to God – Begin a regular practice to be drawn into the presence of God and specifically tell Him that you love Him, why you love Him and and your desire to always be loyal to Him.

7) Practice giving praise and glory to God – Make the commitment to begin to look for ways to open the conversation with God by searching for reasons to give God praise and to glorify His Name. 

8) Imagine God is actually present and speak with Him – Consider conducting the simple practice of using imagination to recognize that God is really and truly right beside you.  

9) Develop a shortcut for coming into the presence of God – Experiment with short phrases that most move you to realize that God is truly present and build a habit to repeat them frequently.

10) When God doesn’t seem to be listen, pray more – Use any feeling of distance from God or that God is not listening as a reminder to immediately seek to listen and speak to God. 

11) Ponder your own death to increase the desire for God – Regularly set time aside to be drawn into the presence of God, to objectively ponder your own death, and to listen to God’s guidance so that you may prepared for a happy death.

Use the Stimulus of everyday experiences to turn more frequently to God

12) Quickly recognize evil thoughts and immediately turn to God – Practice monitoring your thoughts and immediately speak and listen for God when you first become aware of an evil thought arising in your mind. 

13) See the world through the lens of the Works of Mercy – Build a habit of seeing through the “lens” of the Spiritual Works of Mercy and offering them more frequently each day to increase the time he is consciously in the Presence of God. 

14) Acknowledge God in everyday objects – Observe the world, link it to Jesus’ teachings using everyday objects in the Gospels, and automatically remember to listen and speak with God when encountering worldly things.

15) Look towards Heaven in joy – Make it a practice to regularly marvel at the vast beauty of the sky and listen and speak to God as you admire His heavens.

16) Pray when tempted to complain – Be vigilant to recognize the temptation to complain and instead, give God thanks, offering the little cross for His glory. 

17) Pray when passing an ambulance or funeral – Make it a practice to speak and listen to God when you hear ambulances or see funeral processions. 

18) Practice being a witness to God to others – Make the commitment to begin to speak more of God to others and constantly ask for and listen to His guidance.

19) Seek God’s will when in emotional turmoil – When emotional turmoil occurs, turn to God, asking for His guidance so you can better understand what is happening, what He is calling you to do and to give you the strength to endure.

20) Draw near to God in suffering – To be better prepared to accept the big crosses of life, be alert to the suffering which comes into your daily life, recognizing it, thanking God for His Holy will and for the grace so that you may selflessly endure the little crosses in imitation of the Perfect Man, Jesus Christ. 

21) Seek indulgences from God for the suffering – Consider regularly pursuing indulgences by listening and speaking to God, preforming Works of Mercy, abstain from licit pleasures, or giving explicit eyewitness to Christ. 

22) Search for ways to thank God throughout the day – Make it a daily practice to search for God’s many blessings and to say “Thanks be to God” many times during the day.

23) Immediately turn to God when Satan tempts – To battle temptation, especially the common temptation of lust, cultivate a habit of being aware of the signs of temptation and immediately speaking and listening to God. 

24) Turn to God when you sin – When conscience alerts you to a sin you have committed, quickly speak to God in contrition for your sin and listen to His response.

25) Ask God for guidance when making decisions – Build a practice of recognizing when you are facing decisions and immediately speaking and listening to God for His guidance.

26) Turn to God when others sin against you – Acknowledge when others sin against you and resolve to always quickly speak and listen to God to be comforted and be guided to know when and how to respond with the Spiritual Works of Mercy.

27) Listen and speak to God when passing holy places – When passing by any parish or cemetery, take a few moments to acknowledge the presence of God and ask for Him to speak to you. 

28) Build a habit of seeking to see God in Creation – Make the commitment to start a regular practice of seeing God in the everyday circumstances of daily life, in other people, situations and in Creation. 

29) Be reminded to pray at home with sacred images and spaces – Set aside a place in your home as a small shrine and keep sacred objects on display throughout your home.

30) Have the home blessed by a priest to recall God more frequently – Invite a priest to come to your home and bless it so you can more frequently remember God’s blessing and seek to speak and listen to God. 

31) Gather with other men in fraternity to pray – Regularly gather with other holy men and build a habit of praying together; your brothers will provide many opportunities to listen and speak to God more frequently. 

32) Keep sacramentals near to remind of God – Consider having objects (crucifix necklace, Rosary, ring, wrist band, New Testament, saint medals, Scapular, religious images or cards) which help you draw closer to God blessed by a priest (CCC 1671) and wear or carry them with you to help you remember to listen and speak to God more frequently. 

33) Seek sacred art and encounter God – Set a goal to regularly seek beautiful sacred art and look for ways to display art around the home or place of work so that you can be reminded frequently to listen and speak to God. 

Plan routine Responses to more frequently turn to God

34) Start the day with early morning prayer – Start every day in your first waking moments with prayers to God before rising from bed.

35) Make a morning resolution to listen and speak with God during the coming day – Resolve each morning to listen and speak to God during the day and make specific commitments about when you will keep your resolution. 

36) Seek the intercession of The Blessed Virgin Mary, St. Joseph and all the saints and angels – Set aside some time each day to seek the intercession of the Blessed Mother, St. Joseph, your patron saint, and Guardian Angel, asking for their prayers so you can more frequently hear and speak to God throughout the day.

37) Commit to some type of Mortification every day – To listen and speak more frequently to God, choose to perform some act of mortification each day with the intention of seeking to draw closer to God. 

38) Schedule specific daily appointments to pray – Schedule specific times during the day on your calendar to speak and listen to God; consider including times the Church has suggested as powerful times of prayer (Divine Mercy Chaplet (3 pm); the Angelus (6 am and 6 pm); the Liturgy of the Hours (CCC 1174-1178), etc.).

39) Stop and deliberately listen to better hear God during the day – Build a daily habit of reminding yourself to simply stop and listen to God several times a day.

40) Pray before beginning a day’s work – Build a practice to turn to God to ask for His blessings and guidance as you begin your work of the day, using your own words or prayers such as a Catholic “Prayer before a Day’s Work.”

41) Pray the daily Gospel from the Mass – If you are unable to attend daily Mass, take some time to be drawn into the presence of God while meditating upon the daily readings from the Mass, particularly the daily Gospel reading, for there you can meet and converse with Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

42) Explore and pray from the rich treasury of Catholic Prayer – Consider making a commitment to begin to have a regular habit of praying traditional Catholic prayers to speak and listen to God more frequently throughout the day.

43) Make gestures to remember and remind you of God – Incorporate physical gestures into your day at certain times and events to help you recall the reverence of the Mass and help you listen and speak to God.

44) Carry and pray with a small prayer book during the day – Select a prayer book/app which appeals to you, carry it with you and develop a practice of opening it and praying. 

45) Schedule and pray a Rosary – Scheduling a regular time to pray the Rosary is a simple and powerful traditional way to spend more time with God in prayer and to hear His voice. 

46) Pray before and after meals – One of the easiest ways to start to listen and speak to God more for most men is to simply commit to always pray before and after eating a meal; expand this practice to include any food or drink in between meals.

47) Set daily time to lead your family in prayer – Consider beginning a practice to lead the family in prayer (e.g. Rosary), in addition to mealtime, at least one additional time per day.

48) Speak and listen to God during routine everyday tasks – Experiment with having a conversation with God during “down times” of routine tasks (commuting, exercising, waiting for appointments). 

49) Do regular “debriefs” with God – Simple set aside some time daily or weekly to check in with God to do a “debrief”. Enter into His Presence and tell Him in your own words how your day is going, including the good and the not so good. And then simply ask God for “feedback” and listen. 

50) Make regular use of Holy Water and other Sacramentals – Consider frequently blessing yourself (and others) and places of work and relaxation (including your home by a priest) to remember God and the need to listen and speak to Him frequently. 

51) Perform a daily Examination of Conscience – To more frequently listen and speak to God each day, resolve to set aside some time before sleeping to do an Examination of Conscience. 

52) Receive the Sacrament of Penance more frequently – To listen and speak to God more frequently, receive the Sacrament of Penance often to be forgiven by God and to ensure the “lines of communication” remain open with God. 

53) Draw close to the Sacrament of the Eucharist multiple times per week – To listen and speak to God more frequently, consider being blessed to attend Mass one or more days a week, schedule a regular Holy Hour or commit to stop by and briefly sit in the Presence of God in the Tabernacle.

54) Set daily time to hear God speaking in Sacred Scripture – Build a simple practice of committing a few moments periodically throughout the day to open Scripture and read a verse or two; consider carrying a small pocket New Testament with you. 

55) Pray with the Church during the week and the month – To speak and listen to God more during the day, consider setting aside time each day to have a short conversation about the Church’s traditional prayer focus for the day and month; also recall and pray for the pope’s monthly intention.

56) Strictly hold to Fasting and doing penance on Fridays – To increase love and gratitude of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross for your sins, perform some act of meaningful sacrifice in His honor every Friday (fasting, abstain from meat, etc.), offer it to God and listen to His response. 

57) Embrace the richness of devotion of each Liturgical Season – Make it a priority to more fully engage in the devotions of the Liturgical year which will open up opportunities to draw closer to God each day.  

58) Make special feast days key days of spending time with God – Look ahead on the Church’s calendar and your personal calendar and mark special days of obligation and meaning to listen and speak to God. 

59) Plan and take pilgrimages – Consider planning a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands, Rome or to other cathedrals, basilicas, shrines, or parishes so you can grow in conversation with God. 

Recognize the Rewards of conversing with God to sustain motivation

60) Use a spiritual journal to recognize the rewards of daily conversation with God – Consider beginning a personal diary or journal to record your conversations with God and schedule time each day to listen and speak to God through writing in your journal.

61) Take regular silent retreats to recognize the rewards of closeness to God – Set aside times of silent conversation with God on a regular basis during the week and year to assess and renew progress in drawing closer to God.