I find that when I jump into my day without taking the deep breath of calm from some sort of morning devotions that I pay for it in frustration and, sometimes, tears. My days just don’t seem to go as well, though maybe they go the same and what’s different about the days with devotions is me: my outlook, my approach, my willingness to let God drive.

I’ve tried a number of things in the years since I’ve been Catholic. I have subscribed to devotionals and done online retreats and readings. I have a Bible that has meditations in it, and I have many reflective books. There has been the sit-down-and-pray-the-rosary approach and the put-a-book-in-the-bathroom-to-read-while-I-get-ready approach.

Of all of these different tactics for accomplishing morning devotions, one thing has worked better than most. It worked so well, in fact, that I used it for years (and I’ve only been Catholic for going on six or seven years). So when I let my subscription to Magnificat lapse, using some silly excuse and justifying it by citing the many online resources I could surely use in the hours I spend staring at a computer screen, I wasn’t really worried. There was nothing to worry about; I was making a rational decision, saving us some money, and everything would be OK.

Except it wasn’t.

In the last few months since that subscription lapsed, I haven’t used those other resources with any consistency. One morning I might not have time to get online; another day I might forget. The morning might, in fact, start an hour earlier than usual, with screaming kids and frazzled me. Not having that little magazine (with the beautiful different-every-month art on the front) to lug along with me – in my purse, if need be – was a real hurdle to my morning devotions.

I’ve thought about subscribing again to Magnificat many times in the last few months. I just never have. Something has come up over and over or I’ve just plumb forgotten. But I’ve wanted to renew. Oh yes. I just haven’t.

Luckily, we had a baby to baptize late last month, thus necessitating a trip to the local Catholic bookstore (though there are as many gifts as books, so I could just as easily call it a Catholic anything-you-could-wish-for store). Wouldn’t you know, right there by the register, was a copy of the December Magnificat? And, though I still haven’t gotten online and renewed my subscription (that’s on this week’s to-do list), I have been enjoying being back in my routine of morning devotions.