REVEREND JEROME P. KOUTNIK
DO I REALLY WANT TO CHANGE?
If you desire change — nothing will change the human heart so much as personal prayer. Time set aside for personal contact with God. A genuine spirituality requires some basic structure. Ideally trying to go to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time, I know there’s plenty of exceptions, but try your best and never hit the snooze button. Upon awakening, remember the morning offering, a traditional prayer, consecrating one’s entire day over to the power and will of God, including all my daily sufferings in union with the cross of Christ and all the holy Masses said throughout the world. A simple thank you God for waking me up and be with me this day in all my encounters using me as an instrument of Your peace.
I then immediately begin organized, structured spiritual exercises. I start with the sign of the cross, an examination of conscience, and act of contrition, plenty of free-flowing, Jesus-centered conversation and the rosary leading to the main course of scripture reading and mental prayer. Basically reading the day’s Gospel, slowly and thoroughly—finding key words or phrases consecrating on the Person of Jesus.
I use my imagination to visually enter the sounds, sights, smells and touch of each Gospel scene. Spending time in this prayer form (known as lectio divina) is of inestimable value to growing in the spiritual life. It creates a better preparation for daily and Sunday Mass, and will lead to a far better wisdom and understanding of Jesus Christ. A person’s mental prayer will gain one ever greater self control and creates within a more generous forgiving, sacrificial person.
I end with some form of resolution, a specific goal or commitment to live more closely in God and become more detached from the things of the world. I offer up all my daily sufferings in union with the cross of Christ and holy Mass.
The Adoration Chapel is the perfect setting for lectio divina. While at home, one can create a prayer space including a candle, an image of the Sacred Heart and/or statue of Mary, and a comfortable chair and/or place to kneel.
Prayerfully following this basic spiritual structure on a daily basis will change your heart, purify your soul, and increase your understanding of how deeply your love of God is.
Do I really want to change?
P.S. For further, more specific detailed information and structure, please go to: