I recently had the great chance to be interviewed by Patheos’ Thomas MacDonald for his very cool How I Pray feature. If you haven’t checked out Tom’s interviewees (including Elizabeth Scalia), be sure to check here for some inspiration. The interview left me thinking about how I’d like to be more organized about my prayer resources in the New Year.
One of my many goals for 2015 is to increase the time I spend reading pages and decrease the time I spend reading social media. I spent a good part of yesterday organizing a small corner of my office to help me realize this goal. In addition to setting out some “to be read” books that won’t mix in with the rest of my “library” (which would be better referred to as a “disaster area”), I assembled much of my daily spiritual reading into that corner.
Here’s a peek at my corner and resources:
- As Morning Breaks: Daily Gospel Reflections — I use this lovely Kindle resource for reflecting upon the daily gospels. Priced at only $2.99 for 685+ pages of reflection, the book was our first in-house project and was penned by over 30 volunteer authors from our team at CatholicMom.com. When I pray with this book, I feel myself linked to a community of friends around the globe who are praying with these same reflections.
- Abide in My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips (Word Among Us Press) — I use this book every day when I’m home to read the day’s liturgy of the word, focusing especially on the gospel for the day. Yes, I could find the readings online (and do when I’m traveling), but having this hard copy encourages me to focus on the Word, to underline, to annotate, and to more fully interact with the scripture for the day. I discovered the 2014 version midyear and can’t wait to use this one throughout 2015.
- The Gift of Eternal Life: Prayer Journal (Word Among Us Press) — I prayed with the 2014 version of this beautiful hardcover, spiral bound prayer journal and fell in love with it. I use this journal daily after my time reading the day’s gospel and praying with As Morning Breaks. My journaling in this lovely prayer companion has led me to a more profound relationship with scripture. It’s small enough to tuck into my purse and take on trips, so it’s with me even when I’m not home. Along with offering the day’s liturgy of the word, each page contains inspirational quotes from scripture and the saints.
- Word and Worship Desk Calendar 2015 (Paulist Press) — Using this as my 2015 Bullet Journal. As much as I use Google to organize my life, I still truly enjoy putting pen to paper when it comes to tracking some of my daily work and personal goals. This calendar combines a good “week at a view” perspective with essential Catholic tools. I love it!
- Larry Richards’ Scripture Calendar: No Bible, No Breakfast; No Bible, No Bed (Word Among Us Press) — I saw one Amazon reviewer mention that they keep this little perpetual scripture calendar next to their tooth brush. The concept is two daily scripture verses: one for morning, one for night. Can we ever get enough scripture in our life? I think not! I have not been great about using perpetual calendars in the past. Here’s hoping that having this one in my prayer corner will help me be more diligent!
- The Cross Our Only Hope: Daily Reflections in the Holy Cross Tradition (Ave Maria Press) — I have had this book for a few years, but made the mistake of placing it on my bookshelf after initially reading it. For 2015, I have pulled it off the shelf and committed to including a little taste of my alma mater’s spirituality in my daily prayer time. I hope to be back later today with some fruit that was born just this morning from this powerful daily devotional.
- Small Steps for Catholic Moms (Ave Maria Press) — Who wouldn’t want to pray every day with Danielle Bean and Elizabeth Foss? This one page per day “think, pray, act” formula works well for me. I recommend this book, even if you’re not a Catholic Mom!
- Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours (Catholic Book Publishing Corp) — After my Fall “retreat” to Napa with Pat Gohn, I decided to take my praying of the Hours off the grid. I’d previously used the awesome Divine Office app (and still use it on the road) to pray Morning Prayer. But Pat helped me to fall in love with ribbons and paper. While I’m still a newb and have the sense that I’m sometimes not “doing it right”, I love praying with my one-volume version. I hope some day to graduate to the full four volume set. Saving pennies towards that goal…
- Shorter Christian Prayer: The Four-Week Psalter of the Liturgy of the Hours Containing Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer (Catholic Book Publishing Corp) — We use this version at morning mass at my parish. For that reason, this slim book will probably find a permanent home in my MINI.
During the year, I will be mixing in other devotional books and apps, but this core library will form the basis of my morning prayer time in 2015. I’d love to hear about your favorite daily prayer resources!