It’s the first couple weeks of Lent. How ‘ya doing?
Some of us started out like a school girl on New Years: “I’m going to workout every day and stop being mean and use Snapchat less and eat vegetables daily and never shave my beard and do so many freaking things every single day yaaaaasssss!”
How’s that working out for you?
I’ve noticed that a lot, no, an overwhelming majority, of the people going through our PrayDaily Course (its free, check it out) say they struggle with CONSISTENCY in prayer. It’s everyone. People really struggle to pray every day. They have good intentions, and they are busy people, and they love Jesus, and they are seeking out ways to grow in understanding the faith and relationship with Jesus, but at the end of the day they went 24, 48, 72 hours without praying, REALLY praying, ONCE.
I want to speak to the people that need some tough love right now. This is for me just as much as its for you, and its gonna hurt me more than its gonna hurt you. This is for those of you that profess faith in Jesus Christ and are striving to be a Saint. This is for the ones that say they want to change the world. This is for the ones that desire holiness. The ones willing to shed blood for the faith.
I want you to metaphorically lean in close here and listen to me like I’m that blunt uncle of yours that loves you but swears way too much. Just remember I love you, sport, and hear me out.
If you don’t get your crap together and start praying every day you are going to lose. Period. Big time.
I don’t know any other way to say it. Some of us are falling into the trap of talking big game when it comes to holiness, evangelization, and loving Jesus, throwing up “Be who you’re supposed to be and you will set the world on fire” but aren’t praying EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Jesus said: “Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.”
Burned. Thrown in a fire and burned.
If you aren’t praying EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Then stop everything else until you’ve got that down.
Stop getting caught up on social debating atheists and protestants and other Catholics. Stop being involved in movements and ministries and missions. Stop posting inspirational quotes on instagram. Stop volunteering at Church. Stop writing blogs. Stop complaining about relativism and the lack of common decency and politics. Stop consuming podcasts about the faith. Stop waiting for the next Catholic book or devotional that will *really* get you fired up this time. Stop blaming your doubt. Stop reading this.
There’s no excuse. None. No one needs another book or resource or talk or *4 crazy tips* to help them remember to check Facebook every morning.
Maybe you are really trying. Maybe you really really want to be holy and to root sin out of your life and to get closer to Jesus and to help His kingdom come and to change the world and evangelize. Your heart swells just thinking about it.
Here’s how you know if you’ll one day be a Saint: Did you pray today?
“The one who prays will be saved, the one who does not will be lost.” St. Alphonsus Liguori
"If you don't get your crap together and start praying every day you are going to lose. Period. Big time."
Click to tweet this fire.
You want to know what’s important to you? What’s *really* important to you?
The things you made time for today.
You’ll know something is important to you if its done. Is your life in Christ, following Jesus, evangelization, your ministry, your family, your Christian commitment, important to you?
Did you pray today?
Becoming a Saint is not exciting. A lot of the big name Saints we hold up in the Church led amazing, grace filled lives. They forgave persecutors, and performed miracles, and loved radically, and impacted nations, and converted masses.
But these are the fruits. These are the fruits hanging from a hidden source that is less fantastic and remarkable.
A daily, constant, unrelenting, unstoppable life of prayer.
Their strength came from a moment every day that, from the outside, looked like just a guy sitting in a chair. Or a woman kneeling in front of a cross.
Jesus came to make us whole. He gave us the opportunity to live in Him. He revealed Himself to us and His plan for us. This is the greatest mystery.
"This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer.” CCC 2558
Storms come and go. They can cause huge amounts of change to a landscape. But you know what causes long lasting change on a huge scale? You know what carves freaking thousand year old mountains out of the ground stuffs? Erosion. Boring @ss erosion. Steady and CONSISTENT small forces playing out over hundreds of years. One unstoppably steady flow of water, boring and harmless as it looks, carved out the Grand Canyon.
Walk down to that river and look at it. Cute little babbling brook. Slow and steady. Nothing too crazy or outlandish. It doesn’t really look like its doing much. But every single day it keeps going. While you’re sleeping, its flowing. While you’re eating, its flowing. Every day. The sun comes up. The river is flowing. The sun goes down. The river is flowing. The sun comes up. The river is flowing. The sun goes down. The river is flowing…
Is your spiritual life, your Christianity, going to be “The Great Fire of 2016” that makes no difference to jack squat in 2025? Are you carving a mountain? Or are you throwing some gas on a fire when “you have the time.”
While you’re out trying to change the world Martha, there is a Mary out there that has been at Jesus’ feet. Every day. Monday to Sunday. All month. All year. Today. Tomorrow. Forever.
You know you crave consistency. You know it deep down. Imagine looking back from 2020 onto 2016 after praying EVERY SINGLE DAY from now until then. How would your life change? What type of return would that investment have? What would the name Jesus mean to you then? Best friends grow more valuable over time. What would your intimacy with Him be like?
Because while you were out getting lost in the work, someone else was putting in the hours. The days. The months. The years.
Here’s why you need to pray every single day. Because big time holiness and grace is going to move into your soul and force out sin at glacial speeds over the course of the rest of your life. Maybe you’ve had a really profound and radical St. Paul all-of-a-sudden experience. Cool. Sometimes glaciers break off and move pretty fast too. But in general, the spiritual life is a slow grind. Its life long. Day in. Day out. Constant. It is EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Can’t beat that one sin in your life? Despise your weaknesses and flaws? Desire to be closer to God? Just don’t feel anything anymore? Pray every day for a month.
“But I don’t have time!”
Then why are you reading this? Was this more important than praying today?
Look, I was going to write a lot more. About 10 minutes more. I probably would have spent another 20 minutes editing it.
You’ve read this far. Just pretend this article kept going for another couple paragraphs. And instead of reading it. Let’s go pray.
And then pray tomorrow. Every day. Every month. Every year. For eternity.
See you in heaven.