“Try to commit yourself to a plan of life and to keep to it: a few minutes of mental prayer, Holy Mass — daily, if you can manage it — and frequent Communion; regular recourse to the Holy Sacrament of Forgiveness — even though your conscience does not accuse you of mortal sin; visiting Jesus in the Tabernacle; praying and contemplating the mysteries of the Holy Rosary, and so many other marvellous devotions you know or can learn.
You should not let them become rigid rules, or water‑tight compartments. They should be flexible, to help you on your journey you who live in the middle of the world, with a life of hard professional work and social ties and obligations which you should not neglect, because in them your conversation with God still continues. Your plan of life ought to be like a rubber glove which fits the hand perfectly.
Please don’t forget that the important thing does not lie in doing many things; limit yourself, generously, to those you can fulfill each day, whether or not you happen to feel like doing them. These pious practices will lead you, almost without your realizing it, to contemplative prayer. Your soul will pour forth more acts of love, aspirations, acts of thanksgiving, acts of atonement, spiritual communions. And this will happen while you go about your ordinary duties, when you answer the telephone, get on to a bus, open or close a door, pass in front of a church, when you begin a new task, during it and when you have finished it: you will find yourself referring everything you do to your Father God. (Friends of God, 149)” Taken from — http://opusdei.us/en-us/dailytext/try-to-commit-yourself-to-a-plan-of-life/
I was first introduced to this idea of having a plan of life when I was encouraged to get the St. Josemaria Escriva app from my previous spiritual director. When Craig and I started dating, he told me that he used the app, as well. We are always kind of working at our plan of life.
I love having a plan of life specifically for what it says in that third paragraph. Having a plan of life has allowed me to invite God into my day throughout the day. It helps me to keep my spiritual light on throughout the day and to remember that I am doing everything for God, with God, and through God. It has helped me talk to God even more in my day and to always make it a priority, as well as being intentional about it. It makes my day surrounded by Him rather than just trying to fit him in — at least that is my goal — some days are more difficult than others.
Craig and I have been talking about working on our plan of life more and more lately and ways we want to improve it. On the app, it gives the ideas of:
- Morning offering
- Morning prayer
- Holy Mass
- Visit to the Blessed Sacrament
- Reading of the New Testament
- Holy Rosary (devotion to Mary)
- Afternoon prayer
- Examination of Conscience
- Three purity Hail Maries
- Holy Water
- Spiritual Reading
- The Way of the Cross
As I was reading about the plan of life, I also read about these ideas:
- Frequent confession
- Throughout the day
- Presence of God
- Consideration of our divine filiation
- Work — to work well with intensity and supernatural awareness
Right now I feel like my plan of life consists of morning prayer (praying with the Psalms and New Testament), the rosary on my way to work, the Angelus during lunch, the Divine Mercy chaplet on my way home from work, Night Prayer with Craig before we go to bed, and spiritual reading. I have been thinking about adding at least one of the above ideas for Lent — possibly visiting the Blessed Sacrament with Henry after I pick him up from daycare. I am not sure yet, though. I hope this plan of life will be a way of life for my family.