Regnum Christi

“But first let me…”: The January Virtue of Prayer First

“But first let me…”: The January Virtue of Prayer First
“But first let me…”: The January Virtue of Prayer First

“In order to succeed in prayer, it should be done when we first awaken, when our whole being is calm and recollected. We need to make our meditation before anything else.” – Bl. Peter Julian Eymard

 

January is a month for resetting priorities. If you’re like me, you’ve eaten too much over the holidays, and might be thinking it’s time to cut back on the big meals and baked treats. If your schedule was like mine, your fitness routine, whose regularity was already suffering during the busyness of December, was altogether hijacked by a hectic Christmas schedule, and perhaps you’ve resolved to get back to a more consistent exercise regime. If your house is like mine, it’s been overwhelmed with Christmas décor, occupied by guests, and besieged by an excess of new toys and clothes and gifts, and is in urgent need of a tidy and reorganization. And if your morning prayer life is like mine, it may even have gathered momentum over Advent, but now – after the busyness of a season of late parties, sleeping in, and overnight guests – needs to be picked up, dusted off and resumed with the freshness that comes with a brand new year.

 

And so, I resolve to rise early before the rest of house awakens, before the needs of the family and the tasks on my to-do list propel me forward throughout my day. I’ll make my coffee, take my seat, open my Bible, and begin.

 

But first, let me check my e-mail.

 

And while I’m at it (postponing my prayer just a little bit longer), I might also check the weather for the day. I see it will be cold, and consult my calendar to see how much taxiing of children I’ll have to do that night, or whether I might be able to get away with a cozy evening inside. While I’m thus distracted, I might check my Facebook, read an article, respond to a text until, interruptions and amusements exhausted, I am finally ready to pray.

My initial intonation – “But first let me…” must sound lamentably familiar to Jesus, as he patiently waits to spend time with me in prayer. St. Luke tells us about two similar would-be disciples who, invited by Jesus to follow Him, postponed their “yes”, replying, just like me: “But first let me…” (Lk 9: 59-61). Jesus carried on to Jerusalem, presumably without them.

 

The month of January, with its new beginnings and fresh start, begs for us to embrace and commit to the virtue of Prayer First.

 

St. John Vianney was a strong advocate of the virtue of prayer before all else. “We must take great care never to do anything before having said our morning prayers,” he says, warning us, rather persuasively, that “the devil once declared that if he could have the first moment of the day, he was sure of all the rest.” “Never forget,” he continues, “that it is at the beginning of each day that God has the necessary grace for the day ready for us. He knows exactly what opportunities we shall have to sin, and will give us everything we need if we ask him then. That is why the devil does all he can to prevent us from saying our morning prayers or to say them badly.”

Say no more, John Vianney. Now is the perfect time to commit, not just to a life of prayer, but to a life where prayer comes first.

 

Monthly Virtue Resolution: Give God the very first moment of your day.

 

Monthly Motto: “But first, let me pray.”

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Alex Kucera

Atlanta

Alex Kucera has lived in Atlanta, GA, for the last 46 years. He is one of 9 children, married to his wife Karmen, and has 3 girls, one grandson, and a granddaughter on the way. Alex joined Regnum Christi in 2007. Out of the gate, he joined the Helping Hands Medical Missions apostolate and is still participating today with the Ghana Friendship Mission.

In 2009, Alex was asked to be the Atlanta RC Renewal Coordinator for the Atlanta Locality to help the RC members with the RC renewal process. Alex became a Group Leader in 2012 for four of the Atlanta Men’s Section Teams and continues today. Running in parallel, in 2013, Alex became a Team Leader and shepherded a large team of good men.

Alex was honored to be the Atlanta Mission Coordinator between 2010 to 2022 (12 years), coordinating 5-8 Holy Week Mission teams across Georgia. He also created and coordinated missions at a parish in Athens, GA, for 9 years. Alex continues to coordinate Holy Week Missions, Advent Missions, and Monthly missions at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Cumming, GA.

From 2016 to 2022, Alex also served as the Men’s Section Assistant in Atlanta. He loved working with the Men’s Section Director, the Legionaries, Consecrated, and Women’s Section leadership teams.

Alex is exceptionally grateful to the Legionaries, Consecrated, and many RC members who he’s journeyed shoulder to shoulder, growing his relationship with Christ and others along the way. He knows that there is only one way, that’s Christ’s Way, with others!