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Saturday, February 04, 2006


If you use your meal times as the basis of your family
prayer schedule, you have at least 3 meeting times. If
you add snack as a meal time, there are four. The
rosary would be a separate time, 5. Now, the angelus
can be prayer time 6 & 7.

I wouldn't pray the angelus before lunch, it may be a
little long for young children. I would save it for
after lunch, even if you have lunch at 12:00. We make
the angelus an "event". We used to have a bird clock,
it broke, which called out Noon by the hooting of a
great horned owl. It was very effective. You couldn't
forget when 12:00 rolled around. Now I just say, "Ring
the angelus bell!" If we are in the car, the kids say
"ding dong" (for a long time), if we are home I have
an Austrian cow bell that my 4 year old has the
privilege of ringing. One friend, actually hung a bell
over her kitchen sink, and she rings it to call the
Angelus. We say the Angelus and then add:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the
Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning is now and
will be forever. 3x

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom His love love commits me here
enlighten, and guard,
rule and guide me. Amen

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual
light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen

My new build, is to add a Spiritual Communion. The
Annunciation is just so important to our salvation,
that it really shouldn't be omitted.

Anonther friend had the great idea of setting her son's
digital watch to chime at 6:00 p.m.,as a help to
remember to say the angelus again. For awhile, I set
an alarm clock with an unusual tone, to remind me to
say the angelus at 6:00. At one point, I found it very
demanding to say 3 angelus' a day. I took this to a
priest and he very wisely suggested that I not worry
so much about the prayers but remember the great event
of the Annunciation. He asked me if I wanted to give
honor to Our Lady's yes? Did I consider that God
became Man an important belief to remember? Yes, to
all of the questions. This helped me very much to get
over a hesitation to saying 3 angelus (angeli?) a day.
This is also a very good way to start saying the
angelus with young children. To just recall the event
of St. Gabriel visiting Our Lady and Her unparalleled
openess to God's will. (When I say these things, like
3 angelus a day, it is because God has given me the
grace to be a Third Order Franciscan, with the call
comes the grace to be able to pray more.)

As a practical matter, different children have the
responsibility of leading different prayers. The
youngest leads the Mercy chaplet decade (4 yr). The
next in line leads the Angleus (6). The newest reader
reads the litany. They seem happier to engage if they
are "in charge". Also, I ask children to remind me to
say prayers. "Don't let me forget after meal prayer."
(I am terrible about this, I forget more times than

Don't give in to "perfection blues." This is not going
to be the most perfect way to say prayers. But, it can
be consistent, which is more important according to
the Lord's own parables. How do you reconcile the
chaos with the peace prayer is supposed to bring?
Well, be conformed to God's Will. Prayer is an
offering. You are offering yourself to God, with your
children, in an effort to do His Will. It isn't an
exercise in our own will. We have to be able to step
back and say, maybe God doesn't want this right now.
Or maybe God wants me to be mortified right now. In
any event, tomorrow will be better. This is another
good prayer. We are going to keep trying. We will do
better later today. Or tomorrow will be better.

The schedule is not to be a burden but an assistance.
It is to prevent:
"Well, I would like to pray to God now, I don't have
the time for the Rosary, um, what should I do?" Then
nothing happens from sheer exhaustion, confusion or
ignorance. The schedule should never make you feel tha
God is a task master.

Here is where Marian meditaion sets a firm foundation
to your prayer life. With the Immaculate as the lofty
Model, actually impossible to attain through human
means due to our fallen human nature, but absolutely
possible through the power of God. She becomes the
demanding Master (Mistress). She is demanding, not in
Her demeanor or commands, but in Her example. To
follow in Her footsteps, requires much more than the
human person is capable of, naturally, but with God,
all things are possible. So, let Her change your
heart, plow your soul and replace the barren earth
bound for death with the rich earth that She can
supply with Her action in your soul. Let Her be the
Plow, the Rake, the Gardener. Let Her bring Her
Immaculate Soil, rich with the nutrients of grace.
Once She has visited, the seed can be planted.

"To what shall I compare the Kingdom of God? It is
like a mustard seed that a person took and planted in
a garden. When it was fully grown, it became a large
bush and the birds of the sky dwelt in its branches."
(LK 13:18,19)

Once She has visited, and your eyes are fixed intently
on Her virtue, it sets you free to believe the Lord's

"My yoke is easy. My burden is light."

How often do we doubt this? How often do we say :"My
life is too hard for me! YOU are a slave driver?"
What kind of relationship is that with God?
Are we full of doubt?
What does St. James say about those who doubt?