Each one of us is called to be a saint, and one of the beautiful things about our faith is, that to a large degree, we know what we need to do to become one. As the Lord told the Israelites, “This commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off” (Deuteronomy 30:11). We must respond to His grace and seek to love God with every fiber of our being and our neighbors as ourselves. Practically, we know that to be a saint, we must pray, receive the Sacraments as frequently as possible, and do the will of God as we understand it. To help us achieve greater prayer and connection with God, here are some helpful spiritual practices we can embrace:
Daily examination of conscience
An examination of conscience helps us to see how we are corresponding with God’s grace and where adjustments need to be made. It is not necessary to do a full examination every day, but it is often helpful to focus on one virtue we believe the Holy Spirit is calling us to grow in. As we pray about that virtue, we can thank God for the times we practiced it, ask His forgiveness for the times we failed, and make a resolution to do better the next day. This practice is very beneficial in improving self-knowledge and humility, which leads to confidence in the Lord.
Remaining prayerful throughout the day
Another helpful practice is to take a fifteen-minute break from your day and tell Jesus all that is on your heart. This can help us listen to Him and receive His peace. Even if He already knows our hearts, this practice of a heartfelt conversation with the Lord leads to intimacy with His Sacred Heart, and we can never have enough intimacy with the Lord.
Another practice that can help is to meditate with a Scripture passage every day. At or near the beginning of our days, we want to read and meditate on God’s word. As our day progresses, we want to return to the passage multiple times, quieting ourselves and letting the passage seep into our minds and hearts and take root there. This allows Jesus to dwell richly within us (Colossians 3:16).
A final helpful spiritual practice is to fast for someone that God is putting on your heart and asking you to sacrifice for. Be sure to be prudent and not overdo it, but offer what you can with love and devotion to our Lord.
These four spiritual practices will help us to respond generously to the grace of the Lord and grow in sanctity. Remember that when we fail in some way, it is an opportunity to grow in humility and perseverance. If we keep seeking our Lord, He will make us saints in His time.