Friday, March 30, 2007The Rhythm of Prayer
In Luke 18:1, Christ tells us to "pray always and never lose heart." What does it mean for a busy mother to pray always? Well, it's typically understood that with a morning consecration... you are offering up your words, actions, and trials during the day as living prayers to Christ. This is a wonderful practice! And with this, you are praying all day long, just by living your life for the glory of Him.
But can we go deeper? Oftentimes we say or think that we "don't have time for prayer." And I'd wager that oftentimes, it's the devil himself that puts those thoughts in our head... even in the most gentle ways of "Well, I need to get groceries and do the laundry and pay the bills." But, we let time own us; the reality isn't that we don't "have time"... it's that we don't "make time." This is why it's so important to establish a routine of prayer time throughout your day. Say the Angelus at noon, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet at three. Set your alarm clock on your watch or cell phone if you need to. Say a simple prayer whenever you hear a clock strike the hour... just a simple reminder to yourself that our entire day should be ordered to sanctification and the glory of Christ.
Some people don't like the idea of scheduled prayer. They think it ruins the spontaniety of communicating with God... that it becomes routinized and thus, mundane. But the reality is just the opposite! While we should communicate with our Divine Lover every time we think of it, we should also establish concrete times of day to make a date with Him. Prayer rhythms throughout the day are very liberating because they become like an old familiar friend... something you can approach with ease and comfort because you expect it and know it well.
I guarantee you that you can find 101 different excuses on why you don't have routine prayer in your life. But He is waiting for you... He is calling you to make Him the central God in your life... not a subordinate god to the errands or lunches or dishes. Of course, as mothers, our vocation doesn't allow for us to spend all day on our knees in prayer... and our domestic obligations are good and holy in themselves.
But go deeper. Make the most of those 4 minutes you spend alone in the utility room, processing laundry loads. Consider waking a bit earlier to start the day off *right* with prayer time. I've found that if my little ones wake up too early with me, I can usually sneak some prayers in while they are watching Mr. Rogers or eating their breakfast. Pray while waiting in the grocery checkout line. At every traffic signal you hit, say a little prayer. Use the spontaneous one-liners often: "Jesus, I am weak and I need You." "Blessed Mother help me to be more like you." "Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me and on the whole world." "St. Joseph pray for my family." "I love you Jesus." "Jesus I trust in You." Simple powerful prayers sanctify our day.