What does it mean to build habits that are truly Christ-centered? It means to invite Christ into our everyday lives, no matter how mundane. It means for us to call upon the Holy Spirit so that we grow in our awareness of His presence. A Christ-centered habit is a habit that allows us to recognize God’s activity in the world. St. Gregory the Theologian says simply, “We must remember God more often than we draw breath.”
It’s easy to go about our day with the sense that we are isolated from God. How and when are you most aware of His presence?
Do you ever feel as if God is not present? What situations elicit that experience for you? What do you do?
What do you think of St. Gregory’s lofty challenge to remember God more often than we breathe? What can you do to actively become more aware of God in your day-to-day life?
Habits that draw us near
There are many ways we can clear our hearts to become more aware of Christ in our lives, and all of them take time, guidance, and repentance. Here is one suggestion we’d love for you to consider:
Sanctify your day with tiny prayers. Sometimes we’re prone to overcomplicate praying. Try instead when you open a book to study to say, “Lord, bless my understanding that I may give glory to You.” Or pray, “Lord have mercy on…” when you get a text message from that person. Or, if you find yourself on a solitary walk across campus, pray the Jesus Prayer (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner) in rhythm with your footsteps.
What other tasks throughout your day could you turn into opportunities to be in conversation with Jesus? What time of day or activity do you think might be most transformed in your life if you were to pray during it?
A reflection from St. Patrick
In the Breastplate of St. Patrick, a morning prayer attributed to the patron of Ireland, St. Patrick makes a conscious effort to acknowledge the presence of God, the angels, and the saints in the world in which he goes about his daily tasks. Pray the following excerpt from the Breastplate. Take your time, and recite each line slowly.
Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
What stands out to you in this prayer? What will you take into your life this week from St. Patrick’s attitude about the presence of Christ?