Editor’s note: Celebrate the 10th anniversary of IgnatianSpirituality.com with us. For 10 weeks, we’ll be “Counting the Gifts of Ignatian Spirituality” by bringing you special content on our website and special offers from our sponsor, Loyola Press. Learn more here.There are no magic numbers related to spiritual growth, but sometimes it helps to make a list just to simplify our goals. There are hundreds of spiritual practices, but I’m listing seven that are fairly simple. Please try them out!
- Do a short, focused morning prayer. This can be, “Good morning, Lord. I’m grateful to be alive another day,” or, “May my thoughts, words, and actions reflect your love today,” or anything else that is short and to the point. It can be a waking-up prayer, to help you focus your attention as the day begins.
- Sigh to God. The Holy Spirit takes every sigh, every tear, every groan and translates them to our heavenly Father. Sometimes we put too high a value on words when it comes to prayer. Sometimes, a sigh will convey exactly how you’re feeling and what you need. Please note: you are encouraged to do this prayer multiple times a day.
- Reflect. Stop at mid-morning or noon or afternoon or evening, and look back at what has happened in the day so far. What did you do or say? How did you feel? Where did you perceive God present or at work? Respond with thanksgiving or with a prayer to do better during the rest of the day.
- Listen to Scripture. Allow Scripture to soak into your mind and heart by listening to it—in recorded songs or hymns or from an audio version of the Bible. Take just five or ten minutes to do this, while you’re commuting or eating your lunch.
- Say thanks. Pause to thank God for one thing in your day. Or thank another person for one thing he or she has said or done that helped you.
- Say please. Acknowledge your true desire at this moment and voice it to God. Or ask another person for help rather than trying to do everything yourself.
- Help someone. Donate money to an organization that addresses needs in the community. Encourage a coworker. Help a stranger pick up the dropped bag of groceries. Hold a door open. Pitch in when you see a friend or family member overwhelmed with a task.
What’s your favorite simple spiritual practice?