The Litany of Daily Life


So many stories feature heroes who were born for their adventure. And as a Catholic, I encounter so many saints that seem to have innately known exactly what they were called to do and who they were called to be with stunning confidence.

But then I ask that nagging question: What about me? Day in, day out, the patterns of my life can feel rote and aimless. The morning hustle to get myself on the train to work with everything I need for the day in hand. The struggle to fit it all in and still get the dishes done. So ordinary, so mundane. Are these the moments I was born to live? Is this the whole purpose for my life? Should I be doing something else? Something more?

Quietly, so quietly, God is putting me at ease, settling me even without the answers to my questions.

A meeting with my spiritual director: be aware. Keeping my eyes open to wonder in even the most frustrating day is a prayer, a connection to God.

A simple homily: keeping Christ in my plans. When looking ahead on my schedule, instead of doing a quick mental rundown, I can let Jesus know what I’m up to on both my simplest and most complicated days.

And noticing litanies everywhere – from a favorite song (“I Shall Not Want”) to a recommendation for the Litany of Humility. What if I could take these repetitive days and turn them toward God – a litany of actions and awareness in this busy and cyclical time of my life?

God knows where I am, where these days are leading me. “Do not worry about tomorrow,” Jesus says in the gospel of Matthew; “tomorrow will take care of itself.” I can only give God today – every day, over and over again in a litany of adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication.

Even those holy role models haven’t been born with a roadmap to heaven stamped on the inside of their eyelids. A prayer of Thomas Merton opens: “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.”

What lies ahead? God only knows. And I don’t mean that idiomatically – truly, only God knows for what I have been created. And for that I am thankful. I don’t have to figure it out on my own.

This road has a destination. I don’t know what it will look like, but I know that God is readying me to arrive, shaping me to his mysterious plans.

[Tweet “Are these the moments I was born to live?”]

Brigid Hogan is a 20-something Midwesterner living in downtown Washington, DC, with a growing collection of houseplants. She enjoys reading, podcasts, and making friends with dogs.

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  • Reply
    September 8, 2015 at 11:50 am

    Thank you, Brigid, for your blog post today. Discernment and the many questions and resources you mentioned have been popping up for this fellow 20-something as well 🙂 It was wonderful to relate, so thanks for sharing.

    • Reply
      September 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks for the note, Alejandra! I think no matter what your 20s look like, they pretty invariably FEEL like this. At least we can all pray for one another to get through it!

  • Reply
    September 9, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Thanks for a great post and the encouragement!

    • Reply
      September 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Thank you!

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