In recent years, as I have intentionally tried to explore overall purpose in life and how marriage and parenting fits into that from a Catholic lens, the role of praying for my family has been one clear piece as we journey together towards heaven. I have discovered that linking prayer to routines can help with consistency. Here are some of the ways that I currently pray for my husband and our five girls throughout the rhythms of my daily routines.
- The Morning Transition: Something carried forward from my own mom, I often trace the sign of the cross on my husband’s and daughters’ foreheads. I am more sporadic with my husband but have been trying to get in the habit of doing so each morning. My girls on the other hand have come to expect their blessing before transitioning to daycare or school, and will prompt me to do so if they think I might have forgotten.
- Daily Mass: Different people have talked about how the moments of transubstantiation and after Communion reception are powerful moments of prayer. Knowing that I first need to pray for my own holiness to help cooperate with God’s grace, which impacts allowing him to enact the plans he has for me within my family, at the moment of the elevation of the Host, I pray for myself. Then, with the elevation of the Chalice, I pray for my husband’s and girls’ holiness. Then, I pray the Anima Christi after Communion reception, followed by praying the same prayer for my husband and a third time for my girls. I state their names instead of the first me and then replacing the rest of the pronouns throughout to match. Often, I also pray for any future children, as well as future spouses. I had not heard of the idea to intentionally pray for my future husband when I was younger, but I realized I could still apply the idea to praying for my girls’ future spouses for any who end up entering the sacrament of marriage.
- Walking Rosary: I previously wrote about trying to pray the Rosary daily for the intention of my family, offering a decade for each of my girls and prayer for my husband and our marriage woven throughout. I have found that most commonly this is occurring while walking between the church and the university where I work (in close proximity to each other). I often pray the introductory prayers and first two decades on the way to work and the rest of the prayers on my return. I especially love this time of prayer as I think about contexts of our individual lives related to the mysteries. However, I am less consistent with praying a daily Rosary than the other two prayers.
My family is aware of some of the ways I pray for them, while others I do without mentioning to them. This side of heaven, I will never know the impact of my prayers or the role they have in God’s plans for our family. However, I do know that they draw me closer to God and help me to reflect on how I can best support my family at different phases of their lives. It can also be viewed as a form of examen, as being more in tune with their needs helps me to reflect on where I am serving them well and where I am falling short.
Loving Lord, Help me to persevere in prayer for my family. Christ, be my light.
Copyright 2019 Amanda Villagómez