A new book helps busy Catholic mothers to discover how to "pray without ceasing."
To be a mother is to navigate a daily adventure, knowing you are always needed, your work is never done … and you wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Motherhood is both challenging and beautiful. It’s challenging to always be needed (because… stress!) It’s beautiful to always be needed because once we become mothers, if we daily strive to be loving ones, we need never doubt that we are making a positive impact on someone’s life, and making a difference in the world. There’s always a mouth to feed, a bruise to kiss, a project to glue, or a lesson to teach. There’s always advice to give, a listening ear to share, a problem to solve. With all of this we must pour out to others, how do we replenish our own souls? We must lean on prayer … daily.
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Scripture teaches us. At first that might sound like just another item on our to-do list. Yet, like everything else the Word of God teaches, even what might first seem too hard or overwhelming is actually meant for our own good.
Although one might think as moms that it would be harder to fit more prayers in with all we have to do, the opposite happens. As we go through a day consciously making more time for prayer, we find ourselves less stressed, more at peace … and as though miraculously, the items on our “to-do” list still get taken care of.
In the wise words of Pope Benedict XVI, “Prayer is never time wasted, nor is it time robbed from activities … rather it is exactly the opposite: only if we are able to live in faithful, constant and confident prayer, God Himself will give us strength and ability to live happily and peacefully, overcoming difficulties and bearing witness with courage.”
God provides. As we trust in Him through prayer, He takes care of our days. And isn’t it exactly the feeling we crave as mothers: to be less stressed and have someone watch over us? Prayer is as essential to the life of the mother as breath.
And so, as mothers we are called to “pray without ceasing” for ourselves so that we keep balance and peace; that we be good and faithful instruments of the Lord; and that we teach our children to worship and love God; to lean on their faith in good times and in bad.
We are also called to “pray without ceasing” for our children (whatever their age) that they may be made strong in the faith. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words that I give you today. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-9).
How, as mothers, do we pray without ceasing?
To help offer a way, there is the new
The book includes over 70 Catholic writers sharing their favorite prayers and #prayerstories. It offers serenity for busy new moms and a welcome gift of thanks for the seasoned mothers in our lives. There are reflections to help you see old prayers in a new way and new prayers to help you express just what you are feeling today. There is a wealth of prayers for every possible need and each touchstone on the journey of a mother.
Contributions in the book include prayers and stories about praying them, ranging from the Angelus to the Anima Christi, from the Psalms to the Rosary. There are younger moms and older moms represented in the book; spiritual mothers, adoptive mothers, and biological mothers.
When I asked the editor of the Ave Prayer Book for Mothers, Heidi Hess Saxton, why moms need to pray every day and what made her want to lead this project she said, “In reality, it is when we are at our weakest and neediest that we can best hear the beat of the Sacred Heart. That has been the experience of every great saint … and that became my experience when I became a foster mother at the age of 38 to three little kids under the age of five. I prayed in the shower, in the rocker, anyplace I could catch my breath because I knew I didn’t have strength to do this on my own. And that is why I wanted to do this book – to help all mothers, to keep them company when they are struggling to find the light.”
(For a limited pre-order window (until October 15), Ave Maria Press is allowing me to share a discount and free shipping on this book. At checkout, enter the Promo Code Moseley and that will get you the discounted pre-order price plus free shipping.)
May each mother who reads this be blessed with more daily prayer time to fill up the cup she so generously pours out to others each day of her life.