What is your prayer routine for an average day?
My prayer routine is, like many parents, I imagine, quite closely related to my children’s lives and routines. My homeschooled son and I begin our day with prayer that is a mash-up of the day’s Mass readings and morning prayer, using either the Universalis website or Magnificat. As a family, we manage to work in a version of Compline once a week or so, but I read and pray it more often on my own. At least once a week we go to daily Mass. I pray the rosary two or three times a week, often (I admit) when exercising, and of course go to Sunday Mass and often other liturgies in area parishes, depending on the season and what’s out there: Vespers, Stations of the Cross, Benediction and Adoration and so on.
Much of my prayer life is ad hoc. I can’t walk into a room in my house without seeing a crucifix, statue or other type of religious image, so I live in continual spiritual conversation
How well do you achieve it, and how do you handle those moments when you don’t?
Well, I do what I do, and I know the spiritual consequences of not being consciously open to God. And nor am I under the delusion that “this is the best I can do right now.” I think there’s an honest balance to be reached between accepting the reality of our present level of intimacy with God, but also not accepting it. Shrugging and saying, “I’m just doing the best I can,” is an understandable reaction to scrupulosity, but it’s also not consistent with the traditional understanding of the spiritual life, which is oriented toward drawing closer and closer to God. I don’t beat myself over the head, but nor do I rest, self-satisfied. One shouldn’t do that in any relationship, least of all one’s relationship with God, right?