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Ten Minutes That Will Change Your Life

September 30th, 2013by Fr. Dave Endres

When I was a college student, I met a young Jesuit who challenged me to pray every day for ten minutes. He said that if I did that, it would change my life. I accepted his challenge, but I thought in the back of my mind – “Ten minutes, that’s no big deal, how could those few minutes transform anyone’s life?”

But I began praying anyway, making the short walk to the campus chapel each afternoon.  When I prayed, I did not pray the rosary or any other kind of devotion, but simply had a conversation with Our Lord. I would tell Him what was going right and what was going wrong. I would thank Him and petition Him.

Certainly some days were more spiritually profitable than others. And as I prayed, I noticed something strange.  Often on the days that I “felt” like praying, the time would go quickly, I would stand to leave and think to myself – “Well, that was fine and all, but about the only thing I can really say in terms of the quality of my prayer was that ‘I did it.’” But often on those days that I thought prayer would be a real struggle, when I was drained or anxious, it was then that I felt in a more profound way the depths of His love and consolation. I left the chapel feeling renewed for it was then that I had needed prayer the most.

Through these experiences I began to rely less on feeling and more on a sense of my need – whether I feel like it or not, I need to come into His presence every day. Like taking a shower or brushing my teeth, we can make prayer an indispensable part of our lives.  That priest who challenged me to pray ten minutes a day was right, it did change my life.

Fr. Dave Endres

Fr. David J. Endres is assistant professor of church history and historical theology at Mount St. Marys Seminary/Athenaeum of Ohio in Cincinnati.