Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Holy Habits for Busy Moms

My dear friend Annie just asked me for ideas on Holy Habits for Moms. As we start the new year, it is good to do just one more thing to grow closer to Jesus. So here are a couple of ideas. Just pick one so you are not overwhelmed. Send me your comments and other ideas and make this into a group effort!

Pray every day alone and with your children and husband.
Start your day with the morning offering, see the version I use on the left hand side bar. Say the blessing at every meal. Pray the Angelus at Noon. Pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3 pm. Pray your night prayers and examine your conscience. Add the family rosary in at least a decade to start, add more as the children get older. One tip I learned from my own mother is to set aside one day of each week to pray specifically for each child and your spouse. Monday-Bobby, Tuesday-John, Wednesday-Joey etc. Pray now for the vocation and future spouse.

Monthly Confession (at a minimum)
Regular confession is so good for the soul. Give yourself the gift. Just this morning at mass our priest said that when we go to confession we allow God to be God and forgive us and redeem us. And we ourselves become transformed and strengthened. If you have small children, find a friend and make an appointment. You watch her children while she receives the sacrament and then she can watch yours either in church or on the parish playground.

Keep Holy the Sabbath
Not only going to mass on Sunday, but making Sundays a day of rest for yourself and your family. Try extra hard to have the wash done on Saturday (laundry always seems to get me.) A family meal either brunch or dinner is a great way to get all the kids together and build community. Invite extended family as you are able. Say "no" to some of the soccer games and say "yes" to a family outing.

Daily Mass
I can't encourage you enough to get to daily mass as often as you possibly can. I have been in the cry room with small children for many years and often left thinking-was it worth it? The mass is the highest form of prayer in the church. It is the greatest way we praise and worship God. If you haven't gone to daily mass in the past, start by adding just one day. Go to www.masstimes.org to find mass times near you. Sometimes the mass that is easiest to attend maybe be at the neighboring parish.

Read and meditate on the the mass readings before you go
When you pray through the readings, psalm and gospel before mass, you will gain infinitely more during mass. And if you add the daily reading of In Conversation with God by Francis Fernandez you will have so much spiritual nourishment.

As mothers we are in service every day. It may be unrealistic to go out and serve a meal at the homeless shelter or visit those in prison. So it is important we serve those in our care graciously. But during the routine service in the home, I can get cranky and feel "put upon." So try this idea. Imagine the child or spouse is actually Jesus. Could you change one more diaper for Jesus joyfully? Could you unroll Jesus' stinky socks to wash them? Could you clean up another cup of spilled milk for Jesus?

An ironing idea I learned from Kimberly Hahn is to pray for the person for whom you are ironing. e.g. "Lord bless my husband as he wears this shirt. May he be wise and kind as he wears it."

Learn about the Great Women who have gone before
Study the lives of the saints, especially Our Lady to see how other Moms have grown in holiness. St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Frances of Rome, St. Rita, St. Gianna~ we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses. Learn about these ladies and ask their intercession. An easy way to learn more about all the saints is to get the daily "saint of the day" email, subscribe by clicking here.

Fill your own cup
click here for great CDs and books
"Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind." Romans 12:1 Listen to great CDs to uplift your mind and continue to learn your faith. See my Lighthouse Blog for ideas on CDs, to join our CD club or to order by clicking here. Read great Catholic Books, click here to see a list of books I have enjoyed. Schedule time each week for yourself (even if it is only 30 minutes of quiet during nap time when kids are small.)

lastly, learn to be silent
Over the last couple of years, I have been trying to say less. (If you know me, you will be laughing out loud at this.) But I am trying. To be silent especially when angry is a great way to diffuse a tough situation. Not making an extra comment, or having the last word helps us grow in holiness and mortifies the tongue. Not lashing out at children or spouse (however much they deserve it) gets us under controls and lets us be the kind and holy woman we want to be. And lastly being silent when gossip crops up. Saying nothing, or changing the subject works wonders!

1 Peter 1:15 "..be holy in all you do.."

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