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Friday, February 10, 2006

Short, Simple, Humble, Consistent

If you are a married woman, a mother, you may find that your prayer life, for the most part, will be praying with your children. The children's physical limitations become your limitations. If your oldest child is two, and his attention span is 18 seconds, that is how long your vocal prayer lasts.

"God's will is good, pleasing, and perfect."
(St. Paul to the Romans 12)

You build up the vocal prayer time according to your children's
abilities. You build their strength in prayer gradually, in short, simple, humble yet consistent ways. This is very similar to learning to play an instrument. You begin slowly with humble songs until you don't even notice that you are practicing for an hour and playing advanced pieces.

So, let's give a practical example. Here we are at the breakfast table. I have them
all together and I have their attention. Before having breakfast, we make a morning offering, renew our consecration to the Immaculate, make a Spiritual
Communion, and then each child calls upon a saint. In the beginning, I would keep these prayers printed out and thumbtacked to the kitchen wall. We began by just saying the titles of the prayers, just as I just printed them. It takes about 28 seconds to read them off. Then as this became easy, we added a few more lines of one of the prayers. Each prayer introduced one at a time. The Spiritual Communions began like this:

"Let's think of a Tabernacle, now, let's give Jesus a

Once this became easy, the first lines were introduced. Then slowly over months, we actually all
learned a Spiritual Communion. All the prayers go like this, start small and then add when it gets easy.

I call this: Build, Build, Build.

Morning Prayers

Morning Offering

Immaculate Mother of God and my Mother, Mary, I renew my total consecration to You and I offer to Your Immaculate Heart my prayers and works, joys and sacrifices of this day in cooperation with Your mission of conquering the whole world for the Kingdom of Christ.

Renew Consecration

by saying:

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to You, and for all who do not have recourse to You, especially for the enemies of the Holy Church and those recommended to You.

Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that You are really present in the Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I long to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart…(pause)…I embrace You as One who has already come, and unite myself entirely to You; never permit me to be separated from You.

Patron Saints Litany

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Holy Father St. Francis, Holy Mother St.Clare, St. Maximilian, St. Louis IX, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Michael, Guardian Angels, Protector saints (from Epiphany) (the saint of the day) and any other saint that a child would like to call upon.