Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Take the 14 Day "Heroic Minute" Challenge

It happened again today... I opened my eyes to the bright morning sunlight streaming through my bedroom window. I could hear my husband shaving in the bathroom and the sounds of my children bustling around the kitchen.  UGH - I groaned and lay back on my pillow.  I did it again. All of my best laid plans for rising early in the morning, before the rest of my family, to catch up on some prayer time, study and exercise had been foiled again by the tempting lure of sleep. Why do I do this to myself?

What is the Heroic Minute?
The "Heroic Minute" is a phrase coined by St. Josemarie Escriva, in his famous book The Way: The Essential Classic of Opus Dei's Founder. The book is a collection of St. Escriva's wise and challenging exhortations to the lay people whom he served as Spiritual Director. It is a timeless classic, and I have found in the past that taking his advice has richly enhanced not only my spiritual life, but also my minute by minute existence here in the trenches of everyday life.

The Heroic Minute is simply the first minute of the day - the moment when we open our eyes and can choose either to immediately rise and greet the day, or roll over, hit the snooze button and pull the covers over our head.

What is the 14 Day "Heroic Minute" Challenge?
The 14 Day "Heroic Minute" Challenge is a commitment to live out St. Escriva's counsel to view the first moment of the day as a decisive one. In the "Heroic Minute", we can begin the day with a victory over our flesh, which are those pesky desires within us that compete with our goal of living virtuously. By starting our day promptly and in prayer, we can set the tone for all the activities which follow. If we live out this "Heroic Minute" faithfully, we can expect to see positive changes in the way we meet other, more difficult challenges throughout the day.

What do I have to do to take the Challenge?
Simply commit to these five easy, straightforward steps......
  1. Pick a realistic time to wake up each day.
  2. Set your alarm for that time and rise immediately after it rings - no hitting the snooze button, no throwing the clock across the room, and no grumbling.
  3. Begin the day immediately with a prayer of consecration to the Lord. 
  4. Keep a journal handy to jot down your reflections as you go through the challenge - ask the Lord to allow this challenge to be a time of growth towards Him each moment of the day. Note what, if any, changes occur in your life by living out the Heroic Minute. 
  5. Stop back here and share your victories, struggles and insights. I have shared mine for each day of the challenge, along with additional reflections from St. Josemarie Escriva, the Scriptures and more. 
Oh - just one more thing - share this link and invite a friend to join the challenge. Together we can help each other strive for the heights of holiness in the trenches of everyday life.

Click here to read testimonies from the 2014 Heroic Minute Challenge.

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  1. I so need this. All I do is eat chocolate chips and dread packing 6 school lunches. Thanks for the practical inspiration!

    1. Thanks for joining us Jaime - come back and share how it is working for you! (BTW - chocolate chips sound yummy - my morning vice is piling whipped cream on top of my coffee!

  2. This post has stayed on my mind for the last couple of days. I'm using (I should say God is using) the "challenge" to call me to give Him not just the morning, but "heroic minutes" throughout the whole day. I have a hard time thinking of being very heroic in general.... but for "this one minute?" It is a workable challenge. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for sharing Nancy - I love the idea of practicing Heroic Minutes throughout the day! I think St. Escriva touches on that in his writings - especially when he talks about accomplishing the task at hand, without delay or distraction etc. I know from my own life when I can live out the first Heroic Minute - lots of other tasks in the day get done "heroically" as well! Stop back and let is know how it is going! God bless!

  3. Love this! I struggle with this so much - with me being not-a-morning-person-ever coupled with nursing toddler numero dos who hearts nursing at night. This sounds great! Going to do my best! Heroic minutes. I can handle that. I like the breakdown! Thank you so much for sharing this!

    1. Hi Amanda! Thanks for stopping by! It is super hard to get up in the AM when the little ones want to stay up all night! Stop by and let us know how it is going for you!!!! God bless!

  4. This sounds great!! I want to do it...maybe I can start next week? Is it ok if I am "behind" the game? (stopping by from Catholic Women Bloggers FB group!)

    1. Hi Gina - thanks so much for visiting - absolutely, start whenever you are ready! Drop by again and let us know how it is going for you when you get started! Blessings!

  5. I heard (read?) once that St Escriva said to say "serviam" upon waking. I have had intermittent success with this! I try to get up at 4 to have a couple of hours before the kids get up. I try to remember: at 4, I hate getting up. But at 6, I am always (always) so glad I got up at 4. Not that I get up each morning, but it helps me to remember that. :)

  6. Just ordered the book and will be joining the challenge on Monday. It isn't just mommies with young children who need this, BTW. I'm 70, very busy, and find it easy to let other things get in the way of my time with Him. Distraction is the seductive handiwork of darkness and it appears that our world has become one big distraction. Bless you for your blog and your presence on the net.