Prayer Time for Moms
by Lisa Hendey
I thank Melody for inviting me to post here today at her blog on the topic of quiet prayer times for moms. The truth of the matter for most Catholic moms is that regardless of our good intentions, all too often our prayer lives take a back seat to the busyness of caring for our families. We may ensure that our families say grace before meals, that our children have prayed before their bedtimes, and even that they are receiving religious education in school, in the parish and at home. And yet, many of us feel a nagging dissatisfaction with the amount of time we ourselves are able to spend in prayer.
I wish I had a perfect “one stop shopping” solution for this age-old quandary. The truth is, I too often struggle with my prayer life. For this reason, I’ve learned to cling to some precious routines in my own daily schedule that keep me in an ongoing conversation with the Blessed Virgin Mary, the communion of saints, and the God who loves me so greatly. I thought I’d share just a few of the ways I prioritize prayer in my life in the hopes that they might be of support and encouragement to you in your daily adventures.
For as long as I can remember, it’s been part of my spiritual discipline to rise at least fifteen minutes before the rest of my family for morning prayer. For me this time includes reading the daily scriptures (available online at http://www.usccb.org), reading about the life of a saint (typically the saint who is being celebrated on that day of the liturgical calendar (check http://saints.sqpn.com) for great resources, and working my way (very slowly) through a stack of devotional books a page at a time.
Our family ritual of “car prayer” time used to happen in the car on the way to school. Once my boys hit the driving age, it began to happen in the garage before they left. Along with my prayers recited with the boys are silent prayers for their protection and the care of my wonderful husband. Honestly, almost every time I find myself in the car alone, the quiet time will prompt me to take a few quiet moments in prayer. This may include praying the Rosary, reciting Novena prayers or simply taking time in precious silence – an all too limited commodity in my life.
Another favorite aspect of my prayer life is seeking the intercession of the communion of saints through formal novena prayers (nine day series of prayers for a particular intention) or simply “conversation” with these holy men and women who have gone before us. When a particular issue arises in my life or in the life of a loved one, I often do research and beseech the intercession of a saint or blessed for that intention.
So many of the canonized saints who have gone before us lived lives every bit as full and busy as those we face today. In them, we find role models of sanctity who show us that our busy days, our work, and our time spent in the service of others can indeed become our prayer. I love the words of one of my favorite saints, Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, who said, “What must we do to become saints? Nothing extraordinary – only that which we do every day – only do it for the love of God.” For moms, we have ample opportunity each day to offer our work, our service to our loved ones, and even our unexpected trials as a sign of our love for God.