Today marks the 99th anniversary of the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima, Portugal. With the 100th anniversary of the first apparition of Fatima coming up in less than a year, I have been thinking a lot about Our Lady’s message.
The Fatima message, with its requests for a life of prayer, penance, reparation, modesty and consecration. In this post I wanted to focus briefly on the importance of prayer and share a few quotes from many great saints.
Having a strong and regular prayer life is something that is crucial for Catholics. We must have a strong spiritual life if we are to strive for sainthood. This is after all our main purpose here – to know, love and serve God. All souls must pray.
“Without prayer we have neither light nor strength to advance in the way which leads to God. He who prays will be saved, but he who does not will be damned.” – St. Alphonsus Ligouri
How do we make time for prayer as busy mamas?
It is no secret that God is to come first in our lives. Sometimes, this is easier said than done. I have struggled many times with following through with some of my daily prayers.
The things that help me to stay on track are following My Rule of Life and by starting with my morning offering as soon as I wake up, before I even leave my bedroom. It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant, just offering ourselves to God before we start our day is sufficient.
St. John Vianney said,
“We must take great care never to do anything before having said our morning prayers. The Devil once declared that if he could have the first moment of the day, he was sure to have the rest.”
A short form of the morning offering that most pray first thing each day:
O, Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer Thee all of my prayers, works, joys and sufferings of this day, for all of the intentions of Thy Most Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in reparation for my sins, and in particular for the special intentions recommended for this month.
I desire to gain all of the indulgence attached to the prayers I shall say and the good works I shall perform this day. Amen.
Hail Mary (3 times)
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. (3 times)
As mama’s things can get hectic each day and spending a lot of time in structured prayer is sometimes impossible. If you can find for yourself a way to get a good routine and schedule established, I find it helps me to ensure that I put God first each day. You can find some of the things which have helped me here.
“Limit your activities to a few useful projects, and abandon all useless interests. To do this you will have to control some of your present desires. When you have limited your interests, you will have more time to turn your attention to Me.” – Taken from My Daily Bread
If we focus on God’s presence with us throughout our day, it makes it easier to recall Him and focus on prayer.
“It is an old custom of the saints of God to have some little prayers ready and to be frequently darting them up to heaven during the day, lifting their minds to God out of the mire of this world. He who adopts this plan will obtain great fruits with little pain.” – St Philip Neri
“Ora et Labora” is the motto of the Benedictines and it is great example that we can use as mothers. I find that when the mundane tasks become overwhelming, I can still focus my attention on God by saying short prayers and ejaculations while completing my tasks.
A short “All for Thee O Jesus” or “Jesus, I love Thee” can go a long way while folding laundry or mopping the floors.
While writing this short post about prayer, I don’t want to neglect mentioning the importance of daily recitation of the Holy Rosary. October is the month dedicated to this powerful prayer, so it is very fitting to include a little about it here.
Our Lady of Fatima requested that we pray the rosary every day. If not accustomed to doing so daily, it can be a challenge to fit it into our routines, but just praying 5 decades each day only takes about twenty minutes. As a family, we like to pray the family rosary in the evenings after dinner and baths. It seems to work the best for all of to pray together at that time.
“The family that prays together, stays together.” – Fr. Peyton
Meditation on the mysteries can be difficult without some aids. I find that rotating through various rosary meditation books is helpful with staying on track. Here is one of my favorites. Also, I highly recommend this book by St. Louis Marie De Montfort about the rosary. (affiliates)
“So many souls go to hell because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them.” – Our Lady of Fatima
Next year marks 100 years since our Lady first appeared at Fatima and shared her message about the importance of prayer and sacrifice in our daily lives.
While it is half way through the month of October, I’ll share a couple of great films about Fatima that my family enjoys to watch on occasion here.