Brandon Vogt is a bestselling Catholic author, blogger, and speaker. He is the Content Director for Bishop Robert Barron’s Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. Brandon’s work has been featured by several media outlets including NPR, FoxNews, CBS, EWTN, Vatican Radio, Our Sunday Visitor, National Review, and Christianity Today, and he’s a regular guest on Catholic radio. He has written six books and is the founder of StrangeNotions.com, the central place of dialogue between Catholics and atheists.

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“For me, the Angelus offers a five minute break during the day to stop, join with others, and focus on the Lord.

It’s both the shortest and most difficult part of my routine, which I’ll explain in a moment.

At the beginning of 2014, I resolved to pray the Angelus everyday throughout the year. I thought it would be a simple, fun thing to try. I was wrong.

It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever faced.

Inevitably, my Angelus alert would ping in the middle of some pressing task–a focused email I was writing, a delightful lunch conversation, a big project I was knee-deep in. The last thing I wanted to do was break away, lose my momentum, and pray the Angelus, even if it only took a few minutes.

But eventually the Angelus liberated me.

I understand that in monasteries, when the bell rings for prayer, monks are obligated to stop whatever they’re doing and pray, even if that means quitting a letter in mid-sentence or dropping a shovel mid-swing. That act of submission communicates to your whole being–your body, your time, your ambition–that God matters more than whatever you’re doing at that moment. Once you free yourself from the slavish demands around you–which, in the long run, aren’t really important anyways–your life starts moving to a new rhythm, following a new clock.

That’s why I still try to pray the Angelus everyday (albeit to mixed results.)

If anyone reading this wants to tackle a simple but enormously challenging discipline, commit to praying the Angelus everyday, no matter how inconvenient. It’s incredibly freeing.”

Read more about Brandon’s prayer life in “How I Pray: A Peak Into My Prayer Routine” (BrandonVogt.com) and “How I Pray: Brandon Vogt” (Wonderful Things by Thomas McDonald) 

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Author Jared Dees

Jared Dees is the creator of The Religion Teacher, a popular website for religious educators, and the author of Praying the Angelus: Find Joy, Peace, and Purpose in Everyday Life .

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