My Rule of Life, 2019-2020 Edition

In April 2018, I wrote about how to go about establishing a rule of life, and since this has been a subject coming up recently, I thought it was time for an annual revisit. I’ve broken my guidelines into Morning – Day/Afternoon – Evening – and General/Year-Round.

Please don’t mistake this as me touting some form of “holier-than-thou” attitude. I’m sharing this as a means of keeping myself accountable, with the full knowledge that as unpredictable changes in life inevitably surface, that there will be moments where it is impossible to keep on top of everything, and some of these changes that I am experimenting with may not fit my life long-term. New changes appear in turquoise. With that out of the way, you’re welcome to continue reading if you’re looking for ideas for your own orarium, or you’re just generally curious. Peace.


Morning Orarium:

I will wear my Brown Scapular daily, including sleep, and remove only when absolutely necessary (e.g. bathing, swimming). It is a reminder to practice humility. If it breaks, I will attempt to get a replacement as soon as possible.

I will strive to wake each morning by 7 AM.

I will make a morning offering upon rising:

“O my God,
in union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I offer Thee the precious blood of Jesus from all the altars throughout the world,
joining with it the offering of my every thought, word and action of this day.
Oh my Jesus,
I desire today to gain every indulgence and merit I can,
and to offer them,
together with myself,
to Mary Immaculate,
that she may best apply them to the interests of Thy most Sacred Heart.
Precious Blood of Jesus, save us.
Immaculate heart of Mary, save us.
Sacred heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Amen.”

I will clean up, do a health assessment, and whatever morning chores are required for the day. I have a responsibility to fulfill my duties according to my state in life, as a wife, as a daughter, as a sister, as an aunt, as a friend, as an employee, and most importantly, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, pursuing holiness.


Day/Afternoon Orarium:

I will pray before every meal throughout the day.

I will spend at least 15 minutes a day on meditation using centering prayer (or a variation of) to be open to the voice of the Holy Spirit, so I may better follow His leading in my life.

Every time that I am tempted to be agitated by worry, anxiety or fear, I will pray St. Faustina’s prayer FIVE (5) times consecutively. Alternatively, I will recite Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will trust You.”

I will read a chapter a day from “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas A. Kempis. Each chapter is only about 5 minutes long. There are around 114 chapters (and sub-chapters) in this book, so it should take me approximately FOUR (4) months to read through it all. At that point, I should determine the next book to read. It should be a book to develop my Christian life.

I will keep a running list of spiritual books I have read.

I will continue listening to Christian music, or Catholic podcasts at work, as long as it doesn’t hinder my role, to further develop my spiritual knowledge of the saints and the Catholic faith.


Evening Orarium:

I will retire for bed by 11 PM, because adequate sleep helps make spiritual warfare easier, and I tend to be less short-tempered when I’ve slept well.

Since my husband and I keep keep different hours, before I retire for the evening, we will pray together:

“Protect us Lord as we stay awake,
Watch over us as we sleep,
That awake, we may keep watch with Christ,
And asleep, rest in His peace.
Amen.”

Privately, I will practice an examination of conscience before bed. I will keep a log of my defects, like St. Faustina, to better help me track any real spiritual growth, and to help make it easier to remember when I go to confession.

I will make an evening prayer at bedtime:

“Eternal Father,
I desire to rest in Thy Heart this night.
I make the intention of offering to Thee every beat of my heart,
joining to them as many acts of love and desire.
I pray that even while I am asleep,
I will bring back to Thee souls that offend Thee.
I ask forgiveness for the whole world,
especially for those who know Thee and yet sin.
I offer to Thee my every breath and heartbeat
as a prayer of reparation.
Amen.”


General/Year-Round Orarium:

I will attend Mass on all Holy Days of Obligation (including all Sundays and/or Saturday Vespers).

I will attempt to receive Holy Eucharist as often as possible, but not unworthily so.

I will continue to veil whenever I am in the presence of the Holy Eucharist.

Our family will devote 10% of our income, in tithes and offerings, to our local parish and other Christian ministries.

I will partake in the Sacrament of Reconciliation every 5 weeks, or as often as my state in life permits.

I will faithfully attempt to keep and observe all holy seasons as defined by the Catholic Church including the Lenten observance. I will make steps in 2019 to keep Advent faithfully, where in past years, I’ve been lax.

I will abstain from meat on Wednesdays and Fridays, as a member of the Confraternity of the Brown Scapular, with the hopes of obtaining the Sabbatine Privilege.

I will cultivate holy friendships with the individuals that God has placed in my life for this season (you probably know who you are).

I will attempt to attend regular meetings with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, and to assist, where possible, in seasonal volunteer opportunities as my state in life permits.

I will volunteer bi-monthly to help with meal preparation for the soup kitchen ministry, as my state in life permits, and as long as God continues to guide me in this direction.

I will attempt to make at least ONE (1) spiritual retreat a year, if possible with my husband, so we can continue to define areas of spiritual growth, and areas of spiritual dissipation, that we need to work on together. We are partners in this journey towards holiness. We need times of recollection and reflection to hear the voice of God and His best plan for our lives.

I will strive, as a fruitful olive tree in the house of the Lord, to have hope in the mercy of God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Psalm 51:10).


Concluding Thoughts:

There are other areas that I need to reflect upon further before committing to, most notably…

  • How to discern my defects and systematically root them out.
  • How to build virtue in my life.
  • How much time to devote to prayer daily.
  • Frequent recitation of the Rosary (and how to do it well)
  • How frequently I should be seeking out Eucharistic adoration.
  • When to find a spiritual director and where.

These are all things that require further research on before comfortably and confidently including them into the above-outlined regimen. Hopefully by honestly sharing some of these orarium (or private devotions — I guess, “not-so-private” now), this will help, both with self-denial/consistency, and helping any readers looking for ideas for their own devotions. As always, suggestions greatly appreciated for other areas to develop, thank you.

Keep reaching higher,

Lauren

Last updated: 07/07/19

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