My children are grown, but oh, how I remember those days of math homework and spelling bees, Cub Scouts and softball practice, teacher conferences and playdates and lunch on the run…. Some days, it seemed there was barely enough time to throw dinner on the table before rushing off to one more event in our school-centered lives.
How could I ever find the time for meaningful prayer?
That’s why it was such an honor to be invited to participate in the Blog Tour for Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle’s new book, Catholic Mom’s Cafe: 5-Minute Retreats for Every Day of the Year.
I mean, maybe some days—cuddling with a fussy baby, braiding a little girl’s hair, cleaning up a spill—I couldn’t make it to daily Mass, or linger over a chapter of the Gospel of John. But on the busiest of days, I could commit to five minutes!
That’s all Donna-Marie asks of you. She skillfully weaves little “POPS” into a mom’s busy day. POPS, that is, are four aspects of the Catholic spiritual life: Ponder, Offer, Prayer, and Savor.
Donna invites the reader to “Ponder” a short passage: perhaps a Scripture verse, an excerpt from the writings of Pope Pius XII, or a poignant quote from C.S. Lewis.
And then in “Offer” comes what may be the most relevant advice for a mother’s day. Here, Donna looks at how a mother’s daily activities in the home are themselves a form of prayer. By approaching the day with an attitude of service, by teaching her children to love their heavenly Mother, by planning ahead, by following the example of the saints, by nurturing her children and handling small details, a woman shows love and serves her heavenly Father and her earthly family.
In the third section, “Pray”, Donna-Marie suggests a paragraph (or a single line) which, spoken from the heart, is a fitting ejaculation for a busy mom. She encourages mothers to pray, first, her quick meditation; then to append an Act of Faith, Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be. Sound advice for all of us—mothers and not!
And lastly, we “Savor” the peace we’ve found from these few minutes of prayer and meditation, strong in His love, secure in our roles.
Thank you, Donna, for helping those of us who are “too busy” to hone in on what really matters. Prayer needn’t last an hour; we can make a mini-retreat in just five minutes a day.
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