Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mother AND Contemplative

When I was a young mom with only a few children, I wanted so badly to be a contemplative. I would read books on prayer and about different saints who were contemplatives and I wanted it all. Except that I had one big problem. I was a mom. I would start to pray in my rocker as I fed the youngest baby and I would pray. Then a child would come up to me and ask for milk, rugrats played in the background, another child wanted to sing me a song...... and that was the end of that. I couldn't finish a thought, much less a prayer.

But as I grew in my motherhood I became very good at being able to go inside myself and steal away moments with God. The dungeon aka the laundry room became a place where I could meet Him. The sink was a good place too. And I became really good at stopping my conversation with God to answer a child's question, and fill a need, and then go right back to where I left off.

Recently while in prayer during Adoration time, I realized that God started training me as a child. You see, I was brought up in a home where children should be seen and not heard, and then we were dragged all over the place while doing it. So I sometimes had to sit for hours, not talking, just sitting. Adult conversation was often boring to listen to, especially when gramma started speaking in Polish, so I would wander off in my head. And I would disappear mentally in the middle of a crowd.

I am really good at it now. At the mission during my Adoration time, sometimes there is cleaning going on. I can shut it out. With hard work and God's grace, I have learned how to be a contemplative. I am learning that this all makes sense. Mothers should be contemplatives. Everyday we are given plenty of time to speak to the Lord. I used to think the only way I could do this was by sitting quietly somewhere in absolute silence. But now I realize He speaks to us all day long and meets us where we are. I remember reading that once. That God meets us where we are. Even literally. If we are standing over a potty training toddler, what are we going to think about at that moment? "Oh, I wonder when the pees coming?" We would go insane!!! No, we can, even in the midst of that, place our minds on a higher level. God uses every moment. And mom's days are filled with the mundane, the day to day kind of routine where God can flourish if we let Him. Just take a look at your day and I know you can find the time. Instead of watching mindless television, pray while you match the socks or fold the towels. Filling the dishwasher or washing the 23rd fork of the day, thank God for His goodness and beg Him to help those who will not eat this day. And don't forget to pray for the rich who will not only eat, but eat lavishly. He is there with us. He laughs at our children's antics, He smiles at us when we speak kindly as we answer the fortieth question in five minutes. And He puts His arm around us when we are not so patient because hubby has worked late every night this week and when did I sign up to be a single mom....... oops. Sorry. Got carried away there. But haven't you been there? God's there too.

We need to be prayer warriors ladies. Yes, we do. Everyone else out there is too busy!!!! Use your drive time. Let daddy watch the kiddos so you can go to Adoration at least once a week. Go ahead and take the baby you are nursing. I tell you, my little Joseph is destined to be a priest. He would go to Adoration with me every weekday morning when he was just a little baby. And my wonderful hubby who worked nights would come home and stay up and watch the little ones who weren't in school yet. Get your husband on board. My husband actually tells me when I need to spend more time in prayer. "Please, honey, go to Adoration. You need it!" He is my thermometer. We need to pray. Offer up scrubbing that kitchen floor. And think about people who need prayers. Not only friends and relatives but celebrities who have no one to pray for them. If we don't, who will?
Guess what? I believe that moms are on the front line of the battle for souls. Because in our every day lives we can find the time to pray. We can do it all day long. Just ask for the grace to keep your mind on things above. My favorite scripture sums it all up:

"Finally , brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you." Philippians 4:8-9


  1. Excellent post - As I consider your longing for prayer and silence over the years I see so much of Faustina in you as you learn to be interiorly recollected. God has given you much grace for your desire to be holy.

  2. ohhh i am still working on this. i never seem to get a second with the kids. they are so distracting. its really hard for me to find time to pray

  3. Don't worry Kim. It will come. In prayer life, as in everything else, perserverence is the key. And hopefully I spelled that right. God bless you.