Friday, October 3, 2008

A Spiritual Life Amongst the Chaos!

Morning Offering

“The key to a mother’s inner peace is to find that marvelous balance between a prayerful life and her family life. A faithful mother soon learns that, in order to survive, her life should really become a prayer.” The Heart of Motherhood

By God’s grace, a mother makes her life a prayer. We should start our day, when we open our eyes, offering the day to the Lord with either our own conversation with Him or with a morning offering prayer such as:

“Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for this new day, a new opportunity to serve you in my family. Help me, please to be open to your love and grace for me today. Help me to find the joy in my vocation even when I am feeling tired and challenged, so I will have peace in my heart and may radiate that joy and peace to others. Amen” Then the day starts off with the proper disposition. When we pray like this, each of our prayers, works, joys and sufferings throughout the day are thus offered to the Lord.

If it is physically possibly, a wonderful remedy that is a proven model, is to rise early before your children. In the bible, Jesus would go and pray to God before sunrise. This is usually the quietest and freshest part of the day. While you sip your caffeine, read scripture or inspirational material, offer your day to the Lord, sit quietly and open your heart for the Holy Spirit to speak to you. You will be amazed at how excited and energized you will be to start your day with your children and the unexplainable peace and joy that will fill your heart. When your children rise, you will greet them with a smile and a full pitcher of life giving water that you can in turn pour into your children so they can be filled with Christ’s love. I hold my hands up to the Lord every morning and say the following prayer “Lord Jesus, I offer you these hands today. Please transform them into your hands to help love and discipline my children as you would. Please guard me from the evil one and help me to be the mother and wife you want me to be. Please give me your grace and peace. Mother Mary please cover me in prayer and give me your grace and peace. I love you, Lord, and thank you for this day. Amen”

Whether you are able to rise early before your children or you need that extra rest, know that the Lord understands you and knows your heart. If you can physically only make the sign of the cross that is OKAY and that is a prayer as well. Just acknowledging that you need and love the Lord is enough for Him. What are some different ideas on finding time to pray in silence that best fits your personality being a morning person or night owl?

Children’s Morning Offering:

Everyone’s morning routine is different, but something that works for us is when my children rise in the morning and want to watch a cartoon, I put in a Max Lucado video and they love them (not every morning)! Or if you don’t watch TV in the morning, when you get into the car to take your children to school, you can listen to Christian radio. Anything you can do to fill their morning with Christ is a great way to teach them to start their day off in prayer. What are some other ideas on teaching your children to turn to Christ with a morning offering?

Creating a Sacred Space:

Creating a sacred space in your home helps motivate and inspire you to come before the Lord whether it is morning, afternoon or evening. The following are ideas on how to create a sacred space in your home:

  • Create a place in your home that is your “special corner” where you go to pray.
  • Have a comfy chair to sit in.
  • A side table for your coffee and a lamp.
  • Spiritual reading material
  • Candle
  • Focal point-the focal point can be a crucifix, a statue, an antique picture of the holy family. Even a picture or two of your “communion of saints”, your loved ones who are in heaven.

Your prayer corner will also be a place for your children to turn to if they want to pray for someone or having a hard time at that moment in their life. They can go before the Lord in your home and light a candle for their prayer. As a family, you can gather in the prayer corner to say prayers. It will be a constant reminder to turn to the Lord throughout the day and that He is present at all times. It will also help teach your children how to pray and become closer to Christ. Just a reminder that your prayer corner can be chic and design savvy to help go in your home without being too overbearing for non Catholics! What are some fun ideas for designing your prayer corner?

A Mother’s Daily Routine is a Prayer:

St. Frances of Rome, a wife and mother, said, “It is most laudable in a married woman to be devout, but she must never forget that sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find him in housekeeping.” Saying a decade of the rosary while folding laundry or praying for God’s grace and strength to help you get through the day while changing ANOTHER poopy diaper helps us mothers become closer to Christ. Praying throughout the day helps us to find holiness in our vocation of motherhood. By praying throughout the day in the hum drum tasks of keeping a home and being a mother, we will find contentment and an unexplainable happiness in our challenging self-giving vocation. Place a cross at your kitchen window to remind you to say a prayer as you wash dishes or a crucifix in sight of the rocking chair to remind you to prayer as you rock your precious baby. We need to realize that we can achieve holiness in the midst of serving our family. Although we might yearn to be at the altar begging the Lord to help us through this challenging time in our lives of taking care of little ones day in and day out, holiness and prayer can be found and practiced in our homes, our “domestic churches”. How can we master the task of praying throughout the day so we can grow in holiness and love for our lord?

Praying the Prayer of Action

Saint Catherine of Sienna said, “You must pray the prayer of action, which is the fragrant flower of the soul. A good man (woman) is a prayer.” The best example of Christ we can be to our children is to LIVE our faith. By living our faith, our children will come to know and love the lord and hopefully never choose to go on the wide path but continue on the straight and narrow. How can we teach our children to LIVE their faith?

Other Forms of Prayers for Mothers

Fasting- I believe our life as mothers is a form of fasting because it is a completely selfless job. We can offer up different circumstances for fasting, such as sleep deprivation, difficult days with cranky children, mothering alone whether you are single or husband works long hours or travels. Offer the difficult situation up to the Lord with fasting in prayer for a certain prayer request.

Rosary- The rosary is one of the most powerful prayer b/c you not only pray the gospel but the blessed mother helps you become closer to her son. Very powerful things have happened to people who always pray the rosary.

Homework J

Read Danielle Bean “Making More Time for God” and do the priority assessment.

Read Danielle Bean” Screening Our Influences”

Find a great devotional book for your prayer time in your prayer corner.

Some ideas for spiritual books:

  • Medjugorje Day By Day- blessed mother apparitions and messages
  • The Cup of Our Life- Joyce Rupp (catholic author)
  • The Heart of Motherhood workbook – Donna Marie Cooper Oboyle
  • Our Domestic Church- Donna Marie Cooper Oboyle
  • Any Danielle Bean book is great

No comments: