“The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11
Have recent events left you yearning for the “peace that surpasses all understanding,” mentioned by St. Paul in Holy Scripture? In these difficult and trying times, we all want to experience the fathomless peace offered by Christ. But when anxiety is simply one “doom scroll” away, where do we even begin to find that peace in our lives?
The answer lies in how close we can remain to our Redeemer despite the storms in our lives. Like St. Peter in Matthew 14, we’ll be able to draw closer to Christ if we keep our eyes fixed on Him. If we lose sight and instead focus on the waves around us, however, we’ll begin to sink.
Fortunately for us, the Catholic Church provides some best and most basic practices for us to follow that will help us cling to our Lord no matter what is going on in our lives. Incorporating these into our lives can help us remain strong in God’s supernatural grace and begin to live in His peace:
- Morning Offering and Evening Exam
- The Sacraments
- Marian Devotion
- Mental Prayer
Bookend Your Day in Prayer: Morning Offering and Evening Examination of Conscience
Having a strong relationship with God and enjoying His peace requires prayer. So when it comes to getting your day off to a great start, prayer is even more essential than coffee! Pick a set time each morning to spend some time in prayer and to pray the Morning Offering.
Likewise, at the end of the day, it’s fitting to close out the day with more prayer, this time examining your behavior as a child of God. You might also think about your dominant fault and what you need to improve in order to become a saint. You can conclude this time with three Hail Mary’s for purity and the Act of Contrition.
The Sacraments: A Higher Life of Grace
Jesus has imparted to the Church the incomparable gifts of the sacraments, which are visible signs of His invisible grace, and through which divine life is bestowed on us. The sacraments nourish us and conform us to the person of Christ.
These powerful channels of God’s grace are essential to incorporate into daily life in order to grow in love of God and feel His peace.
Attending Mass on holy days of obligation, which includes every Sunday, and as often as your schedule allows during the week is vitally important in remaining connected with God. Every Mass nourishes us with the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ Jesus in the Eucharist, which gives us strength for the battle against sin and Satan.
Frequent confession, at least once a month, is another powerful way to banish all in your heart that keeps you from Christ. Through frequent confession, our knowledge of self, humility, obedience, and self-control increases; bad habits are reformed; our consciences are purified; and grace grows in our souls.
Welcoming Mary into the Home of Your Heart
Just like St. John took Mary into his home, we, too, are invited to take Mary into the home of our souls. Welcoming the Queen of Peace into our hearts is another sure way to start living in the peace of Christ.
No one thought about Jesus more than Mary, so she is the perfect person to show us how to center our whole lives on Him.
Freedom Through Fasting
Another way to experience God’s peace through a strong relationship with Him is by fasting. Fasting appears frequently in the bible as a means of freeing ourselves from impossible circumstances, even Satan himself. In Mark 9, Jesus taught his disciples that “some demons cannot be driven out except in this way.”
Fasting can range from drinking only water and abstaining from food for a set period of time to simply omitting fun “extras,” like snacks, desserts, or alcohol. Fasting is one of the main ways the Lord gives us strength for victory and freedom from the evil one.
Heart Speaks to Heart: Mental Prayer
Last, finding peace is possible through strengthening your relationship with Christ in mental prayer. Mental prayer is simply spending time each day with our Lord telling him what’s on your heart and listening to what’s on His. Saint Francis DeSales calls this cor ad loquitor, literally “heart speaks to heart.” Spending even just five or ten minutes a day results in a daily habit of strengthening that relationship.
Roman Catholic Gear Peace Through Strength Journal
Keep track of your relationship with God with the Roman Catholic Gear Journal. With space to document your journey with God, as well as daily checklists of essential Catholic practices, our journal is designed to accompany you for ninety days as you build a strong daily routine of prayer and participation in the sacraments.
Don’t battle alone--sign up for US Grace Force to be apart of the 90 Days to Peace community to get the latest on our 90-day journal and join Catholics from around the world in our 90 Days to Peace campaign. Peace through strength in Christ is worth fighting for!
Essential Catholic Prayers
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
- The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary,
- And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary …
- Behold the handmaid of the Lord,
- Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary …
- And the Word was made Flesh,
- And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary …
- Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God,
- That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
- Let us pray. Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that, we to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross, be brought to the glory of His resurrection. Through the same Christ our Lord.
Examination of Conscience
Place yourself in the presence of God, recognizing His strength and your weakness. Tell Him: “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.”
Ask your guardian angel for light to acknowledge your defects and virtues: What have I done wrong? What have I done right? What could I have done better?
Did I often consider that God is my Father? Did I offer Him my work? Did I make good use of my time? Did I pray slowly and with attention? Did I try to make life pleasant for other people? Did I criticize anyone? Was I forgiving? Did I pray and offer some sacrifices for the Church, for the pope, and for those around me? Did I allow myself to be carried away by sensuality? By pride?
Act of Contrition
O my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee and I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell, but most of all because they offend Thee, my God, Who art all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace, to sin no more and avoid the near occasions of sin. Amen.