Editor’s note: Today, I am very happy to welcome new contributor Laura Buller to our CatholicMom.com family. A young wife and mom of three boys, Laura blogs at Uniquely Placed. She’ll be joining us quarterly to share her writing. Welcome Laura! LMH
Recently I was lucky enough to attend a Day of Recollection for Mothers with my older sister. My three children and her three children were being looked after by my wonderful mother and our youngest sister. The best part of the day wasn’t the speaker, food, or even the company, though I enjoyed being with my sister in a less distracted environment. (Our visits are usually labeled as “play dates” now.) The day was the chance for me to gather my thoughts, sip my coffee and know the next few hours were for ME and ME alone.
My sister and I are not 30 yet… one of us is closer to it than the other (ahem….) and we were definitely the youngest of the attendees. I couldn’t help but look at the sea of white hairs, most of them in the grandmothering stage of their life. The stories they could share with me would be just as enlightening and beneficial as the guest speaker’s message was for me that day.
Alas, what I really took with me from the day was nothing that was said out loud that day. It was a prayer the priest gave us to meditate on after an intimate mass in the chapel that morning. The title of it was “Universal Prayer for All Things Necessary to Salvation”. In its entirety, this prayer gives the reader a lot to think about. One line spoke to me and gave me peace.
“My God, give me the strength to atone for my sins, to overcome my temptations, to subdue my passions, and to acquire the virtues proper to my state of life.”
There has been many times while raising my three young boys, no matter how beautiful or how cute and cuddly they might be, they definitely have made me “subdue my passions” in some ways. Exercising, blogging, pursuing a new hobby or even traveling beyond the grocery store may not happen as often as I would like. But that is ok.
Finding the “virtues proper to my state of life” has been a constant challenge. I keep changing my expectations of what is conceivable to get done in one day. Virtue in simplest terms is the quality of being morally good or righteous. So, some virtues that I must strive for are patience, caring, compassion, flexibility, and selflessness. These are just the tip of the ice berg but I know by starting my day with these in mind I can only hope for a better outcome than had I just relied on my own strength to get me through the day.
A Universal Prayer for All Things Necessary to Salvation
My God, I believe in You; strengthen my faith. All my hopes are in You; secure them. I love you; teach me to love you daily more and more. I am sorry that I have offended You; increase my sorrow.
I adore you as the Author of my first beginning. I aspire after you as my last end. I give you thanks as my constant Benefactor; I call upon you as my sovereign Protector.
My God, be pleased to conduct me by your wisdom; to restrain me by the thought of Your justice to comfort me by Your mercy; to defend me by Your power.
To You I desire to consecrate all my thoughts, words, deeds, and suffering, that henceforth I may think of you, speak of you, refer all my actions to Your greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever You shall appoint.
Lord, I desire that in all things Your Will be done, because it is Your Will, and I desire that all things be done in the manner that You will them.
Grant that I may always esteem whatsoever is pleasing to You, despise what You abhor, avoid what You forbid, and do what you command.
I beg You to enlighten my understanding, to inflame my will, to purify my body, and to sanctify my soul.
My God, give me the strength to atone for my sins, to overcome my temptations, to subdue my passions, and to acquire the virtues proper to my state of life.
Fill my heart with tender affection for Your goodness, hatred of my faults, love of my neighbor and contempt of the world. May Your grace help me to be obedient to my superiors, kind and courteous to my inferiors, faithful to my friends and charitable to my enemies.
Assist me to overcome sensuality by self-sacrifice, avarice by alms deeds, anger by meekness and carelessness by devotion. My God, make me prudent in my undertakings, courageous in danger, patient in trials, and humble in success.
My God, make me realize the nothingness of this world, the greatness of heaven, the shortness of time and the length of eternity.
Grant that I may prepare for death; that I may fear Your judgment; that I may escape hell and in the end obtain heaven. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Laura Buller