Spiritual Exercises

If you want to be a runner, all you need to do is run. If you want to be someone who prays, all you need to do is pray.

Putting together a habit of running or prayer can be daunting for many. So often, we don't know where to even begin. There are so many options, so many approaches, and so many other people who seem to be doing it "better" than us that we hesitate in getting started.

Below are a few great prayers to get you started. Pick one or two and commit to praying them at set points during the day. No one is going to qualify for the Olympics during their first race, likewise, don't get down if getting together a prayer habit takes a bit of work. Stick with it and, like running consistently, you'll find that it comes easier and more enjoyable.

30//30 Holy Hour

Join the Frassati Running Club every Wednesday for our 30//30 Holy Hour. Commit to 30 minutes of physical activity and 30 minutes of prayer.

Prayer for the Courage to be Great

Heavenly Father,

Give me the courage to strive for the highest goals,

to flee every temptation to be mediocre.

Enable me to aspire to greatness, as Pier Giorgio did,

and to open my heart with joy to Your call to holiness.

Free me from the fear of failure.

I want to be, Lord, firmly and forever united to You.

Grant me the graces I ask You through Pier Giorgio's intercession [list your intentions here]

by the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Beginning to Pray

“Rising very early before dawn, Jesus left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35

To say that we live in a busy world would be an understatement. We are surrounded by noise - ads, notifications, pop-ups, emails, calls, check lists - we’ve reached the point where there are apps to help manage your apps and websites that help you find some quiet. Surrounded by a constant barrage of information, finding a quiet time and place to pray might seem impossible.

While it may be tempting at times to draw away to the desert like Jesus did, that may prove difficult (for a number of reasons). Instead, prayer can be found in our own cultivated deserted places. A quiet room of the house, a favorite spot in the yard, a local Church, a calm office space - these can all be place where prayer and stillness can be found.

  1. Find a place that can be made quiet.
  2. Leave your devices. Turn off your phone, leave your laptop in another room, silence or take off your smart watch. Remove anything that may be distracting.
  3. Commit to the time and place. If you would like, set a timer for how long you would like to pray. This will prevent you from worrying about getting back to whatever you have put on hold. It may allow you to be more present to your current prayer.
  4. Remain for the entire time. It may seem that nothing is “happening” - especially early on - when you pray. Remain constant in your prayer. Creating a lasting habit of prayer, learning to find silence, and finding ways to remove yourself from the distractions of daily life will lead to a deeper experience with God in prayer.

Silent Prayer

Creating a place of quiet and stillness is a great place to start building a habit of prayer. In running, there is not a single marathon champion who did not begin his or her running career without first learning to put on their shoes and go out for a single mile. Developing a habit of simply being still, quieting your busy mind and resting in the loving presence of God becomes the foundation for every other prayer. Similarly, as those runners developed in their own athletic pursuit, it all began and was built upon the running of a single mile.

Getting Started

  1. Begin by removing as many distractions as possible. If you are at home, find a quiet room, if you are at work, find somewhere you know you can be undisturbed. Turn off your devices, put your emails aside, place you work elsewhere.
  2. Take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to enter fully into this moment of prayer. It may be helpful to set a timer on a watch or phone. This would allow to focus entirely on the moment of prayer and prevent any worry from returning “on time” to your work or daily routine.
  3. As you quiet yourself, you may notice thoughts of what is still left to do or moments from earlier in the day or week fly through your head. Allow them to come but let them pass by just as quick. There will be a time to attend to these matters, but in this short moment of prayer, be entirely present.
  4. To grow still, it may help to focus on your breathing.
  5. As you breathe, you may remain in total silence. It may also be helpful to repeat a small mantra like one here:

Be still and know I am God.

Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me.

Jesus I trust in You.

6. At the conclusion of your silent prayer, you may simply end with the Sign of the Cross, or by adding any combination of Common Prayers or Intentions.

Return to your work and repeat as needed.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Our Father

Our Father,

who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name;

thy kingdom come;

thy will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.


Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace,

the Lord is with you.

Blessed are you among women,

and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners,

now and at the hour of our death.



Glory be to the Father

And to the Son

And to the Holy Spirit

As it was in the beginning

Is now

And ever shall be

World without end


Hail Holy Queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy,

our life, our sweetness and our hope.

To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve:

to thee do we send up our sighs,

mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Turn then, most gracious Advocate,

thine eyes of mercy toward us,

and after this our exile,

show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.

Prayer to St. Michael

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

The Examen

Included in his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola instructed any retreatant making the Exercises to pray the Examen twice a day - once at noon and once in the evening. This prayer was designed to help individuals review their day, seek to see themselves and their actions as God does, seek forgiveness for wrongdoing, offer thanksgiving, and seek to do better the next day.

Today, the Examen is prayed in a number of varied ways, but the essential structure remains the same. It can be said at noon, in the evening or both.


  1. Recall that you are in God’s presence
  2. Ask for Wisdom to see yourself and your actions as God does
  3. Review the events of your day
    • What are you thankful for?
    • Where did you fall short?
    • What did you do for Christ?
  4. Express sorrow for your sins
  5. Resolve to do better
  6. Conclude with an Our Father or a Glory Be

Act of Contrition

My God,

I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.

In choosing to do wrong

and failing to do good,

I have sinned against you

whom I should love above all things.

I firmly intend, with your help,

to do penance,

to sin no more,

and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.

Our Savior Jesus Christ

suffered and died for us.

In his name, my God, have mercy.

Morning Offering

O Jesus,

through the Immaculate Heart of Mary,

I offer You my prayers, works,

joys and sufferings

of this day for all the intentions

of Your Sacred Heart,

in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

throughout the world,

in reparation for my sins,

for the intentions of all my relatives and friends,

and in particular

for the intentions of the Holy Father.


Mysteries of the Rosary

The Joyful Mysteries

(Monday, Saturday)

The Annunciation

The Visitation

The Nativity

The Presentation in the Temple

The Finding in the Temple

The Sorrowful Mysteries

(Tuesdays, Fridays)

The Agony in the Garden

The Scourging at the Pillar

The Crowning with Thorns

The Carrying of the Cross

The Crucifixion and Death

The Glorious Mysteries

(Wednesdays, Sundays)

The Resurrection

The Ascension

The Descent of the Holy Spirit

The Assumption

The Coronation of Mary

The Luminous Mysteries


The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan

The Wedding Feast at Cana

Jesus' Proclamation of the Coming of the Kingdom of God

The Transfiguration

The Institution of the Eucharist

For more prayers and ideas on how to build a lasting habit of prayer, check out the Frassati Running Club Companion

Frassati Running Training Companion