I would love to approach summer similarly to Rachel, but I am a working mom with a working husband and a child out of school. We have two summer birthdays in our family, a family reunion, and a list of things to accomplish before the school year, so…we do it a little differently.
We’re a bit busy. It isn’t the frenetic pace of the school year with a ton of commitments, but my work schedule is a little different in the summer and we don’t end to travel, so it is its own brand of busy.
Sometimes 5:00 comes and catches me unaware. Other times the days and weeks seem to stretch in the way that only a summer day can. So how do I find time to pray in this season of relaxed busyness?
Prayer is a conversation between myself and my God. The Creator, the Redeemer, the Father, the Paraclete. I can’t sacrifice this part of my relationship. I may not always have time for a marathon gab-session with God, but a little chat to check in works really well to keep those communication lines open, too.
Here are 5 quick prayers I turn to for busy days…well…four quick prayers and a fun prayer suggestion.
It’s Memorial Day, so we are taking a break to enjoy the three-day weekend with our family.
But that’s not what today is about.
Today, while being with our family, we remember those who have served and passed on, those who have fallen in battle, and those separated from families by being stationed in foreign lands, in our prayers. It is to them we owe our freedom.
Please join us in praying for the families of those who have have fallen today while we spend time with our own.
Kristi, Rachel, and Bridgette
Holiness is what we are all struggling to attain. In this month’s CWBN Blog Hop, we share a list of different ways to pray in an attempt to get us further along the road to holiness.
Offering Up Some Intercession
Ask God for others. This is where you come to God and bring other people’s joy, concerns, fears, hopes, and struggles. Read about how we used insomnia to be intercessors for others here.
Lord, today I bring you the readers of this blog, the members of our online community; I ask that you be with them today and help them to see you in their day. Help them to grow closer to you, Lord, and hear their intentions. Amen.
Asking for Some Intercession
Conversely, when we’re in need of prayer, we should not be too prideful to ask others to intercede for us. In the Catholic Church, that means fellow parishioners, family members, friends, and the communion of saints in Heaven who have gone before us.
Lord, I am struggling today. You know what’s on my heart. Help me to swallow my pride and reach out to those I love to help me through prayer and assistance. Amen.
Have you ever heard that Bible stands for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth?” It’s a cheesy thing I saw on a T-shirt one time, but the truth of the matter is that we should be reading the Bible daily. It’s the Word of God, so we should spend time in it, learn it, know it, seek comfort in it, and allow God to talk to us through it.
Lord, I have neglected taking time to spend in Your Word. Help me to delve into this vast resource and be in conversation with you. Speak to me through these words, Jesus. Amen.
Tasks & Chores
In our podcast entitled “Finding God in the Bubbles,” we share about how chores can be acts of love and acts of prayer. Not only can the act itself be a prayer, we can pray while doing them. Say the Lord’s prayer while the water boils. Sing a song of praise and worship while you unload and reload the dishwasher. OR, make this time of doing the chores you really dislike a time to be thankful.
Lord, I am grateful. Thank you for my blessings. The dirty dishes mean that my family has enough to eat and is not going hungry. Thank you. The laundry means we are able to dress appropriately. Thank you. The vacuum cleaner running means I live in a shelter, with warmth and light. Thank you. Amen.
Service: the Hands and Feet of Christ
Sometimes we are able to work at a soup kitchen, bringing food to the hungry. Other times, we have change to give when asked by someone we pass by. We can donate good clothing and household items to charity. All of this is service to others. So, too, however, is calling your lonely neighbor and being present with them. Picking up the phone and inviting the elderly couple from church or the young college student from Bible study over for dinner is also an act of service.
Lord Jesus,open my heart to others. Inspire me to see their humanity and to reach out to them. Help me be a reflection of your light to others. Help me be your hands and feet on Earth. Amen.
This post was written as part of the CWBN Sienna Sisters Blog Hop for the month of May. This month we’re all blogging about different ways to pray. Check out the other amazing Catholic Women Bloggers Network posts
It’s 1:20 a.m. Awakened and unable to return to sleep (thanks, insomnia), I’m in the living room, so as not to disturb my slumbering husband. The neighborhood, silence moments ago, is alive with all four of the neighbor’s dogs barking madly at something. From my daughter’s room, I hear Brahms’ lullaby on repetitive loop.
In moments like these in the past, I’ve tried to count sheep. Who does that actually work for? Once that fails, my mind starts running through the week’s coming days and tasks and responsibilities, and that can be hard to silence.
Tonight, as I sit in the rocker/recliner my husband had to have (and we all secretly love), beneath one of the softest blankets known to man, I’m just offering up prayers.
Not prayers to deliver me from the insomnia, nor prayers for the dogs to be silenced once more. Rather, I pray for the intentions of friends.
For our friend Anna, who’s undergoing a miscarriage of the third child she so desperately wanted. For our friends Christine and Kristin, who both just had beautiful daughters. I pray for friends Alicia and Maria and Anna, who all had very rough experiences on Mother’s Day.
For Angela, who is praying for her seventh child on Earth. For Susie and April and so many others who celebrated Mother’s Day without their mothers. For all women who experienced Mother’s Day with a piece of them missing, whether due to infertility, miscarriage, still births, or a child’s death.
In this sleep-deprived way, I use my time to focus beyond my mini-struggle with sleep to bring these hurts to Jesus for others. And the peace of our Lord, who is listening to these intentions, falls on me, and sleep seems attainable.
I’ll take that over counting sheep any day.
I cannot believe that the Triduum begins tomorrow. Weren’t we just sharing our #HowWeLent goals?! Think about your Lent for a second. Was it rushed? Too full? Mine, too. My days ran into one another. That’s part of the beauty of the Triduum, though. It’s designed to run into the next day, starting with tomorrow’s Holy Thursday service into the wee hours of Good Friday until the mourning period of Holy Saturday is over and gives way to victory and celebration on Easter Sunday. At the same time, it’s designed to slow us down.
I love our Church for many reasons, but one of them is the traditions we have. There’s so much that is ripped from the pages of the Bible and made visible in front of our very eyes during the Triduum, and there’s beauty in the Triduum rituals. The Triduum begins on the night that sets everything for Christ’s sacrifice in motion and ends with Easter Sunday. They are the three holiest days in the Church year.
Tomorrow is Holy Thursday. We’ll see the priest wash the feet of those who are prepared to enter the Church on Holy Saturday’s Easter Vigil. It’s an act of service that lowers the washer (both literally and figuratively) in humility to the person whose foot is being washed. Jesus lowered himself in this way, and the reaction from St. Peter was one of near-admonition and shock.
“…he rose from supper and took off his outer garments. He took a towel and tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and dry them with the towel around his waist. He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Master, are you going to wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later.” Peter said to him, “You will never wash my feet.” Jesus answered him, “Unless I wash you, you will have no inheritance with me.” Simon Peter said to him, “Master, then not only my feet, but my hands and head as well.” John 13:4-9
This reaction of Peter is actually a perfect metaphor for us. You know, who I mean right? I’m talking about the living disciples of Christ who vacillate in our faith. The ones who think we know better than God with our plans. Jesus is telling Peter “This is what I’m doing.” and Peter straight-up says “No!” Sound familiar?
I love when children ask me why we call Good Friday “good” if it’s when Jesus died. They understand the horror of the crucifixion (although perhaps not exactly how gruesome it was) but they fail to grasp how that action translates into our salvation. In that way, aren’t we all children at times? Don’t we all have those spiritual dries where we fail to grasp it, too? Again, let’s look at St. Peter in the wee hours of Good Friday morning.
“After arresting him they led him away and took him into the house of the high priest; Peter was following at a distance. They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat around it, and Peter sat down with them. When a maid saw him seated in the light, she looked intently at him and said, ‘This man too was with him.’ But he denied it saying, ‘Woman, I do not know him.’ A short while later someone else saw him and said, ‘You too are one of them’; but Peter answered, ‘My friend, I am not.’ About an hour later, still another insisted, ‘Assuredly, this man too was with him, for he also is a Galilean.’ But Peter said, ‘My friend, I do not know what you are talking about.’ Just as he was saying this, the cock crowed, and the Lord turned and looked at Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said to him, ‘Before the cock crows today, you will deny me three times.’ He went out and began to weep bitterly.” Luke 22: 54-62
So we’re Peter again on Good Friday. Who hasn’t thought ourselves unworthy despite God calling us such? And who hasn’t wept or yelled or had an emotional reaction directed towards God?
Silence. This day is predominantly silent. The church is dark. It’s almost like we’re…in mourning. Let the severity of the fact that Jesus Christ died on that cross then, in 33 A.D., for the sins of your past, present, and future surround you. Overwhelming, isn’t it? That’s a hard one to grasp. Many people turn to writing when they’re grieving or just upset. Do it. Open your prayer journal (or start one!) and begin a written conversation with God on Holy Saturday. Allow the silence to overtake you and listen. It is in silence that you can hear God speak to you.
I am blessed to attend a parish with two wonderful priests and three awesome deacons. I’ve spent time on retreat with our pastor and I’ve dined with our parochial vicar. I’ve been to the homes of two of our three deacons and have had wonderful conversations with the third. This past Sunday, Fr. Eugene, our parochial vicar, said something in his homily. I happened to be taking notes in my prayer journal at the time.
“In the mystery of Jesus Christ, we find the mystery and meaning in our own life.” Fr. Eugene Okoli
If we’re not witnessing the mystery, then we’re not going to find the meaning. He also said that he sometimes feels that modern-day American Catholics are wimps compared to the early Christians who risked their lives (and lost them, in some cases) merely to worship Jesus. He urged the congregation to not be wimps, but to live out our faith and embrace this tradition. That’s what I invite you to do this Triduum.
A blessed Holy Week & a transforming Triduum to you!
Let us know what you think in the comments section. We’d love to hear what you love about the Triduum, how your parish celebrates it, as well as any musings you’ve got on Holy Week. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, too!