The excuse for not praying that Mother Teresa couldn’t fathom

Jeffrey Bruno

Are you busier than Mother Teresa was?

How often do we claim that we don’t have time for prayer? Is it true? Is it possible to not have any time for prayer?

Well, let’s look at the daily schedule of one of the busiest persons in the last 100 years. Mother Teresa spent most of her day helping the poorest of the poor, tending their wounds and healing their souls. Here is how she spent her days.

4:30-5:00 Rise and get cleaned up
5:00-6:30 Prayers and Mass
6:30-8:00 Breakfast and cleanup
8:00-12:30 Work for the poor
12:30-2:30 Lunch and rest
2:30-3:00 Spiritual reading and meditation
3:00-3:15 Tea break
3:15-4:30 Adoration
4:30-7:30 Work for the poor
7:30-9:00 Dinner and clean up
9:00-9:45 Night prayers
9:45 Bedtime

However busy her day might have been, Mother Teresa always made sure she devoted an entire hour to prayer. She explained later why this was a fundamental part of her schedule that she never missed.

I make a Holy Hour each day in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. All my sisters of the Missionaries of Charity make a daily Holy Hour as well, because we find that through our daily Holy Hour our love for Jesus becomes more intimate, our love for each other more understanding, and our love for the poor more compassionate. Our Holy Hour is our daily family prayer where we get together and pray the Rosary before the exposed Blessed Sacrament the first half hour, and the second half hour we pray in silence. Our adoration has doubled the number of our vocations. In 1963, we were making a weekly Holy Hour together, but it was not until 1973, when we began our daily Holy Hour, that our community started to grow and blossom.

Some might say that her hour of prayer could have been better spent helping the poor, but in reality, it was her holy hour that fueled her love for the poor. She couldn’t have done what she did without the grace of God.

Not everyone is called to spend a full hour of prayer each day, but everyone is challenged to devote a dedicated period of time with God. It doesn’t have to be in a church or chapel, but it should be deliberate and part of your daily schedule.

Take a look at your schedule and discern how much time you can devote to prayer. Start small, and after you have conquered 5 or 10 minutes each day, try 15 and 20 minutes.

Think of your daily prayer as a fueling station. You need to have a full tank if you are going to confront the many stresses of life. Mother Teresa understood that reality and always started her day out with prayer, no matter how busy she might get.