Catholic Women Share Their Daily Prayer Routines

Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a single college student, seeking God and living out the call to holiness will look different for each of us, even though the goal is the same. During this Lenten season, we want to share with you a look at the different ways in which Catholic women today, of different lifestyles and vocations, are practicing prayer in their daily lives.

Below, you’ll find interviews with four different Catholic women - a student and lay-order Dominican, a work-from-home designer and mom, a post-graduate woman who is a writer and works full-time as a librarian, and a mother of seven who’s a full-time banker - on their prayer routines.

We hope these interviews inspire you to find God in every moment and to cultivate a prayer routine that works for your unique place in life.

Photo by Kelli Seeley

Photo by Kelli Seeley

Interview with Samantha Yee On Her Prayer Routine

As a Student & Lay Order Dominican

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About Samantha

Samantha Yee is a 24-year-old writer, poet, and speaker from the San Francisco Bay Area. She studies English Literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and is passionate about using media and ministry to show the beauty of the Catholic Church. After a powerful experience playing the Blessed Virgin Mary in a passion play, Sam joined the Dominican lay order in April 2018. According to tradition, the devotion of the Rosary was given to St. Dominic in a vision, when he had nearly given up on converting the people of France.

Watch our mini-documentary with Sam here.

As a lay order Dominican, a writer, and a student, tell us about what your prayer life looks like on a day-to-day basis. When do you take time to pray? What does prayer time look like for you?

My prayer life’s changed a lot over the years, but the two short answers are that I pray all the time and I set one hour aside everyday for quiet time. Whether that’s going to daily Mass, or sitting with the Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, or meditating on the Gospel in a coffee shop, there’s always at least 60 minutes of uninterrupted time with God. Even if that means breaking it up into 15-minute increments throughout the day, I quiet my mind and I talk to Him and say thank you and kind of just revel in His goodness. It’s not possible for me to sit in a church and pray all day, as much as I’d like to, but it’s important to remember that doing what I do well gives glory to God and that means staying true to the commitments I’ve made, which currently includes freelance work and school, and going out and being the Church. Beyond that one hour of quiet time, I try to make everything a prayer. With “constant mental prayer” being one of the 10 virtues of Mary, I make a conscious effort to pray throughout the day. I say Memorares in my head before I even open my eyes, I offer up my commute for the souls in purgatory and each page of notes I write in class for the intentions of a friend, I pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet while walking between buildings. Though I try to go to daily Mass and Adoration as much as possible in my current state of my life, this helps me stay close to Our Lord and Our Lady even when I am not able to.

How does consistent prayer impact other aspects of your life?

Starting and ending the day with the Lord makes everything better. I’m kinder to other people, I’m more at peace and encouraged in what God has called me to do, and I’ve noticed that it takes a lot more to get me off track. Whenever I do have a bad day, I rate my physical health, my mental health, my social/emotional health, and my spiritual health from 1-10. It helps me figure out the root of the problem, and sometimes it’s something as simple as not sleeping, eating, drinking water, or praying enough. Prayer is essential for me, and if I don’t take care of myself in that way, I definitely feel it in all aspects of my life.

What is your favorite way to pray and why do you think you’re drawn to that particular type of prayer?

I like entering into the daily Gospel readings and the Mysteries of the Rosary through Ignatian meditation. I put myself in the scenes of Jesus healing others, or the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary, or Jesus calling out to the apostles to drop their nets and follow Him. I imagine the ground crunching beneath my feet and the smell of the air and the sounds around me. I imagine Jesus and the cast of characters of the New Testament as real, living, breathing people. It’s a completely immersive experience and the Bible truly comes alive for me. Using my imagination is part of who I am as a writer and a voracious reader, and shortly after my reversion to the faith, I asked God to give me a holy imagination and speak to me through images. When I don’t have the words to pray, I can picture myself at the foot of the cross.

What lessons have you learned on prayer and spirituality from being a third order Dominican?

Dominicans are always talking with God and about God. St. Dominic de Guzman used to say, “Contemplate, then teach.” Everyone is called to preach and teach the Gospel, but it has to be rooted in prayer, community, and study. My advice is to spend time with God, learn as much as you possibly can about the faith, develop your gifts, and use that to share a love of the Lord with your circle of family, co-workers, and friends. The missionary call of Baptism doesn’t look the same for all of us, but each of us must learn to go beyond just going to church and become evangelists and missionaries of the everyday.


Interview with Elayne Miller On Her Prayer Routine

As a Work-From-Home Mom

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About Elayne

Elayne Miller is a 29-year-old wife, mother, teacher, and small business owner. Her family resides in Ohio and she’s blessed to teach Math online. Elayne has always enjoyed creating and designing, and launched her business, Annunciation Designs, in 2016.

Read Elayne’s letter, ‘Working from Home as a Mom,’ here.

As a business owner and work-from-home mother, tell us about what your prayer life looks like on a day-to-day basis. When do you take time to pray? What does prayer-time look like for you?

My prayer life certainly looks different now than it did before my son entered my life. Prayer now means sacrificing time that could be spent doing other important things. I wake up early most mornings to have a few minutes to sit in silence and begin my day in conversation with God. This often literally lasts a few minutes, but it fills my soul and helps me prepare for the day. Praying with my son teaches me about childlike faith, and one of my favorite parts of the day is our family Rosary while my husband or I rock my son at bedtime. At my own bedtime, I try to find time to read a few passages from the Bible, although I struggle to make this a priority. These quiet prayer times fuel me for the ‘prayer of work’ throughout the day. I call upon the saints and angels for their help, I (try to) offer up small annoyances, and I dive into my faith through my creative work.

What does diving into your faith through your work look like?

Diving into my faith through my work for me is often intellectual. I learn about saints and their enduring words, I learn about the liturgical calendar, and I learn about the rich history of symbolism in our faith. I use this information to hand-letter and illustrate Catholic quotes, and to create products that help families call to mind the Sacred in the midst of. This leads me to a more nuanced and full understanding of the beauty of my faith and often fills me with awe and gratitude. There is no shortage of inspiration for creatives in the Catholic Church!

How does consistent prayer impact other aspects of your life?

Consistency in my prayer life is a constant struggle for me. I find the noise inside my head becomes louder the less consistent I am about prayer. Consistent prayer calms me and allows me to focus on my work, both caring for my son and running my business. Taking the time to offer my work to God takes the heavy pressure and the relentless drive off my heart and replaces them with a feeling of abundance and grace, but this can only happen when I quiet myself in prayer. Consistent prayer as a family (and the credit goes entirely to my husband for helping us keep our daily Rosary a priority) has allowed us to share our intentions, hopes, and fears.  If I do not ‘have time’ to pray, I know that I am surely wasting time on pointless scrolling, worrying, or vanity.

What’s your favorite prayer or way to pray?

My favorite prayer is the Memorare, and has been ever since my cross country team would pray it before each race.  My favorite way to pray, though, is to read a short phrase from a spiritual work or Scripture and sit with just that one phrase. 

Why do you think you’re drawn to that particular type or way of prayer?

In a life of working and mothering and cleaning and cooking and creating….. I crave quiet and stillness and relaxation.  Just five minutes of focusing on ‘Thy will be done’ can be life-giving! 

What advice would you pass on to women who work from home on cultivating a healthy prayer life?

Working from home, especially while caring for children, can feel overwhelming.I find it essential to take five minutes when I wake up and five minutes when I lay down at night just to listen to God and to be still. With that foundation, I find myself more able to pray through my work. I would definitely suggest finding small ways to reconnect with God, and to temper expectations. This may be a busy season, and hours of quiet spiritual reading may be unobtainable right now, but conversation with God can happen anywhere.


Interview with Elizabeth Hoyle On Her Prayer Routine

Working Full-Time Post-Grad

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About Elizabeth

Elizabeth Hoyle is a writer living in southern West Virginia. She works as a reference assistant at her local library. She earned a Bachelor’s in English writing and theology and is currently waiting to hear if she has been accepted in graduate school. She has had both fiction and poetry published across different spots of the internet. If you’d like to read more of her work, check out ENTWINEDINPAGES. She hopes her words about prayer help you, even a little.

Read Elizabeth’s letter, ‘Take God to Work with You,’ here.

Tell us about what your prayer life looks like on a day-to-day basis, as you work full-time. When do you take time to pray? What does prayer-time look like for you?

I pray just after I wake up while I’m getting ready and doing things like packing my lunch and fixing breakfast. Those prayers are always interesting, since I’m normally groggy and I lose track of what I’m saying and I often repeat myself. I like to think I make God laugh with those prayers. I try to pray while I’m at work as well. My job reference assistant at a library is very reactive. I never know what a day is going to look like or what people are going to ask. I often have to say a quick prayer to the Holy Spirit when I’m dealing with a difficult person or am unsure of what to do next when faced with a challenging request. I say thank you when I’m done working with that person or have fulfilled the request, though sometimes I forget to. I try to designate separate, quiet prayer time in the evening as well, though due to my schedule, this doesn’t always happen. I’ve lately gotten better at making this a priority. Since most of my prayer throughout the day happens on the fly and around other people, it’s important to me to take some time to be alone with God and just be with him. I say a prayer right before I go to sleep, which can also get quite garbled, depending on how tired I am.

How does consistent prayer impact other aspects of your life?

Daily prayer definitely helps my mental health. It calms me down and reminds me that I’m not alone, on the good days as well as the bad. It helps me be patient with other people and helps me be more present to them. Daily prayer also helps me keep things in perspective. When I pray daily, certain problems never seem to overwhelm me as much as they do when I don’t pray.

What’s your favorite prayer or way to pray?

Adoration is my absolute favorite way to pray, closely followed by saying the rosary.

 Why do you think you’re drawn to that particular type or way of prayer?

I’m drawn to adoration because there is no substitute for the actual, physical presence of Jesus in the host. Prayer is all about growing closer to God and communicating with him and there’s no better way to do that, for me at least, than adoration. The Eucharist and Eucharistic adoration is such a miracle and a gift. It can seem so commonplace sometimes, but we must never forget that. With the rosary, I’ve always loved hearing stories and I learn certain concepts better if they come wrapped up in a story.  I forget who said this, but someone once said that praying the rosary is like hearing the stories of the Gospel at Our Lady’s knee. What’s a better way to enrich your relationship with God than letting His mother guide you through the Gospels? Plus, a rosary just feels so good in your hands.

What advice would you pass on to Catholic women who are just starting full-time jobs on cultivating a healthy prayer life?

The first bit of advice I have is to be patient with yourself. Don’t get upset or berate yourself if it takes you a while to settle into a new prayer routine after starting a full-time job. It can take months to settle into any sort of routine after starting a job, so be patient. The second bit is to not be afraid to try new things. Experiment with times and types of prayers. Ask God to guide you in your prayer life. He might be calling you to try another method of prayer or to experience a certain type of prayer in a deeper way. Be flexible, listen, and let God’s grace guide you. The third thing is to remember that while it is important to pray every day, it is even more important to truly feel your prayer and be present to God and let him be present to you. And if that can’t happen every day, then try to make it happen every few days, every week, or even every month. God will see your effort and will love you for it and will help you.

 

Interview with Kristin On Her Prayer Routine

As a Full-Time Banker and Mother of Seven

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About Kristin Reilly

Kristin is a wife to an entrepreneur, a mom to 6, a full-time banker, and thriving in the chaos one Hail Mary at a time.

As full-time banker and a mother, tell us about what your prayer life looks like on a day-to-day basis. When do you take time to pray? What does prayer-time look like for you?

I pray a rosary live every day at 6:45am central time on my Instagram handle @manyhailmarystatime.

That was not my typical routine just a few months ago, but there are tremendous benefits starting my day in prayer. The biggest difference I have found is the peace I feel throughout the day. 

As I work I often repeat to myself, “Come Holy Spirit…” And then I try to make God my best friend and offer up my day to Him. Then we end our day with a family rosary, which is more like meditating with monkeys. 

How does consistent prayer impact other aspects of your life?

I feel more grounded and centered. I am less distracted and more focused around what really needs to be accomplished. Family, friendships, relationships always take center stage throughout my day and prayer allows me to see them in a more loving, compassionate manner. 

My mental health is probably the biggest area where I notice a change when I am more consistent with prayer. The more I pray, the less stressed and overwhelmed I feel. 

What’s your favorite prayer or way to pray?

My favorite daily prayer is the Rosary. I truly believe if you pray it every day you will find heaven on earth. 

I also believe being fully present to what is in front of you is a form of prayer. I try to practice this with my children when I am with them. 

Why do you think you’re drawn to that particular type or way of prayer?

We have been praying the rosary every night as a family for almost 8 years. Even if you don’t believe in the prayer itself, the ritual alone is worthwhile. To sit together quietly with zero distractions for 15-20  minutes is a worthwhile exercise in today’s culture when we feel we never have enough time or we are always busy. It is also an efficient way to teach your children the life of Jesus through all the different mysteries. 

What advice would you pass on to women who are mothers and work full-time on cultivating a healthy prayer life?  

Keep it simple. Do not expect perfection, especially when praying with young children. I also start my morning with,“Thank you God and I offer my day to you.  I put my life in your hands.” For most of the day I am crunching numbers or on conference calls, so I cannot be in a place of meditative prayer. But I can offer my work to Him. I can sit in a meeting and quickly recite, “Come Holy Spirit…” 

A daily rosary can seem like a lot at first, so maybe just start with the Hail Mary prayer once throughout the day. And then try advancing to praying 10 Hail Mary’s a day. 

Why do you choose to pray the rosary over other Catholic prayers?

Ok, so honestly I didn't like the Rosary as a child. It also was never a go-to prayer for me in my early 20s, unless I was working out and then I would play it on repeat. When our family started praying it every day for Lent I still didn't enjoy it, besides the nightly ritual of coming together as a family somewhat screen free. It was after the 40 days that I realized the benefits are subtle but tremendous. My days flowed better, I had more peace and I worried less. I also believe it puts you more in tune with love and the Holy Spirit. You begin to see the wonder through out your days. 

 

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