It’s a Relationship, Not a To-Do List

There are so many beautiful components to our faith. We have Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the teachings of which Christ has given us to continue living the faith while we wait for His second coming. What a glorious day it will be to reunite with Him fully, to walk side by side with Him for eternity.

With all of the holy components of our faith that we have been given, including devotions that have been passed on to new generations over the years, I can honestly say that I can get overwhelmed knowing how God is calling me to spend time with Him. Of course the Holy Mass and Sacred Scripture are two key areas of our faith given by God that will help us to know Him more intimately, but the other devotions are optional (which can make finding a daily prayer routine tough to establish). Should I pray the rosary daily, the divine mercy chaplet, or the liturgy of the hours? Should I be doing all three of those things daily to grow in my relationship with Christ? How many chapters of Scripture should I be reading? Should I be engaging in more spontaneous prayer?

While all of these devotions are beautiful God calls each of us differently to Himself. By saying this I mean there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to our relationship with Jesus. He has created each of us unique in His image and likeness. He has known us before we were born and He knows our life story already. He knows us so intimately and loves us exactly for who we are, so we don’t need to compare ourselves to others or put ourselves down if we pray differently than someone else. For some individuals they can only pray one decade of the rosary with intentionality while others could pray five rosaries with the same level of intentionality throughout the extended time. Some people take 15 minutes to pray a rosary while others take almost an hour or more. Does this make one of these individuals more worthy in God’s eyes? Of course not – both individuals are equally and perfectly loved by God. He is pleased to spend intimate time with each of them, building relationships with them all. God has already won the battle, and there is nothing that we can do to make Him love us any differently – His love is perfect and complete for each of us.

When you feel overwhelmed by the devotions that our beautiful faith has to offer, or even find yourself comparing your prayer life to that of others, it is time to take a step back and sit in His presence. Be humble and ask Him to see your littleness, remembering that He loves you perfectly and only desires to be with you for you. Ask Him to show you how He is calling you to draw close to Him, whether it be more scripture, a rosary, or even spontaneous prayer.

We are not measured by the perfection of our prayer. God only desires to be with us, desires for us to love others as He has loved us, and ultimately desires for us to continue opening the door of our hearts to Him.  Our faith is not about checking off boxes of devotions we have to feel holy, but it is rather about choosing holiness when the going gets tough by leaning into our relationship with Christ with genuine intention.

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Nathalie Shultz is a joyful convert to the Catholic faith and a competitive swimmer with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  She loves to share her passion for Catholicism with others, including her conversion story and how God continues to work miracles in her life through her OCD. She is the Director of Religious Education for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative of parishes. Nathalie is married to her best friend, Tommy Shultz. Her favorite saints include St. Peter the Apostle, St. Teresa of Calcutta, and St. John Paul II.  She is also a huge fan of C.S. Lewis. If you have any questions for Nathalie, or just want her to pray for you, you can email her at