Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Keeping Prayer in Summer: A Mother's Strategy at CE today

My summer prayer article at Catholic Exchange today...

Just the thought of summer fast-approaching could bring thoughts of rest and relaxation to mind. We may recall the lazy days of summer during our youth. Summer may also mean anticipated excitement and adventure: exploring new places or trying new things.

Some families plan escapes to beaches and paradise vacations, while others may stay home and plan day trips to fun spots, the local library, or parks and recreation centers.

Summertime can be a time of well-deserved rest and also a welcome change of scenery. While making plans for our families this summer, let’s not forget about prayer. A change in schedule once we hit summertime and an eagerness to “get away from it all” could cause us to lose touch with our spiritual needs.

Prayer Strategies

One strategy to help us remain prayerful this summer is to begin each day with prayer. This simple suggestion may seem like a no-brainer to a praying individual; however the busyness of mornings and preparations for summer outings of even the well intentioned “pray-ers” can cause prayer time to become lost in the commotion.

Getting on our knees when we face each new day and giving it right over to the Lord will indeed start the day off with the proper disposition. Mothers should teach their children to do the same. A morning offering in our own words or a more formal version and prayer to our Guardian Angels at the breakfast table works very well with our captive hungry “audience!” We can offer our hearts to God throughout our days as well. Teaching our children to begin their days with prayer is an invaluable lesson that will remain with them as they grow older and navigate life on their own. Pope John Paul II emphasized the importance of family prayer

When making plans for family trips, perhaps we can think about including shrines, basilicas, and holy places in our trips. When researching places of interest for our family this summer, we can utilize the many Catholic magazines, newspapers, and websites that often highlight interesting places for pilgrimages and visits. We can attempt to attain that nice balance of nourishment for our family’s spiritual life and fun and enjoyment to relax and entertain our senses... (Continued here at Catholic Exchange)

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