Before my senior year in college, I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a 4-week fellowship/retreat to Mariazell, Austria, with many other amazing young Catholics. Every morning we prayed morning prayer together in a beautiful, simple chapel, and this prayer has stuck with me. I may not say it every morning, but when I remember to, my day is the better for it. I'd like to share it with you today:
God my Father, Lord of heaven and earth, Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. I adore You and love You with all my heart. I thank you for counting me worthy to stand in your presence and serve you.
I offer you on this day my prayer, my work and effort, my suffering and joy. I ask that I can do all of this out of love for you and according to your will.
Grant me perseverance in living my Christian vocation, patience in suffering, courage in proclaiming my faith, wisdom in my life journey, and charity in my dealings with others.
Free me from all sin and from all evil. May your grace always remain with me and with all those who are dear to me.
This prayer strikes me as particularly appropriate on the day after Mother's Day, because as mothers, each day will require something different of us. One day we need the grace to persevere in ardent prayer for a particular intention of our family - perhaps one child has been very anxious recently and you can't figure out why, or your husband is very busy at work and it has been difficult for you and the kids. The next day may require much patience, as all of the children are sick and as a result you are stuck inside, wiping runny noses and calming fussy babies. The next may require courage to speak out against an evil that you observe, wisdom to make an important decision for your family, or charity towards a spouse that comes home grumpy after a long day or a preschooler that has several accidents in the course of a couple of hours. In all of these circumstances, may we ask for the grace to respond in a manner befitting our vocation as mothers!
On a final note, I have recently become aware of a number of mothers who are in great need of prayer, either for themselves or for their children. How blessed I am to have two healthy children in my care, one child safely in heaven, and to be healthy myself, and how ungrateful I am when I feel sorry for myself because something didn't go my way! To all those mothers whose hearts were heavy on Mother's Day, I pray that you will find peace and comfort knowing that you are favored in the eyes of our Lord. Truly, over the course of his public ministry Jesus made it quite clear to us that his "favorites" were the sick, the needy, the sorrowing...May they be our "favorites" too, that we may be true disciples of Christ!
Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted and Mother of Sorrows, pray for us!