Parents are busy people—and many, this year, have been busier than ever.
I’m friends with a lot of wonderful moms with small kiddos, and a common refrain for all of us is that the bustle of family life sometimes leaves little time for the deep conversations with God that we so crave in this stressful season of motherhood.
It’s not just the physical effort that keeps us busy (although our hands are literally full most days). It’s the mental load, which occupies our minds so thoroughly that there’s no space left for reflection.
What we sometimes forget is that God doesn’t need a treatise on our faithfulness every day. He doesn’t need long, poetic tributes or formal applications for help. He meets us in the little moments of crisis and joy—the in-between times when we’re looking for the next thing that needs doing. He loves our labors, because every overwhelmed moment is a gift of self to our families and, thereby, to Him.
So I try to say many Our Fathers and Hail Marys and Glory Bes as I go about my day—to let them be the tunes I whistle as I work. It reminds me that my labors are holy and important, and gives God thanks for the blessings He has given me (even when I’m too tired to really articulate my gratitude).
I hope you give that a try, because it’s been so good for me. And, in those moments you want to express something a little different, keep these brief prayers handy. Remember that you are His beloved child, and He is delighted by every “I love you” and “I trust you” and even every “please” and “thank you.”
For when you find yourself in wonder at the beauty of Creation.
Dear God, please reveal to us your sublime beauty that is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere, so that we will never again feel frightened. My divine love, my love, please let us touch your face.
(St. Francis of Assisi)
For when you are lonely.
Remind me, dear friends and intercessors in the Church Triumphant, that there is a place for me beside you at God’s table. All you holy men and women, pray for me.
For when you’ve lost your patience and really, really need it back.
O My God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer.
(Act of Hope)
For when you are in pain and want to offer it up for another.
Father, help me to join my suffering to the redemptive suffering of your Son, my Lord, Jesus Christ. By virtue of this self-giving love, bring comfort to [a friend in need] and help us both draw nearer to you.
For when you are among friends, neighbors, or even strangers.
Help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go—let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by my example—by the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears to you.
(St John Henry Newman)
For when you are full of joy.
God, there is no greater joy than to feel you near me. I thank you abundantly for the abundance of your love!
For when you’re frightened.
For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(From the Chaplet of Divine Mercy)
For when you have a difficult decision to make and need guidance.
O Holy Spirit, sweet Guest of my soul, abide in me and grant that I may ever abide in Thee.
For when you are just so very tired.
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I believe in Thy love for me.
For when you need some peace and quiet.
My God, close my ears and eyes to the world and open them only to your grace.
For when you need your own mama.
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
(From the rosary)