Saturday, November 13, 2010

OK, question number 1

As I said, I'm going through A Mother's Rule of Life (again) to try to get our day organized. What worked in years past no longer works now, so I'm having to rethink everything all over again. I have to take into account a new baby, my night-owl tendencies, and the increased workload for homeschooling (the older kids are having to do much more, AND I'm adding more children that I have to teach each year).

With that in mind, I am asking myself the first question:

What do I think is necessary to live a faith-filled life?
What sorts of daily practices should be included?

I would have to put Scripture reading right up there at the top. Being a good former Navigator, I "function better," for lack of a better term, when I'm reading a book through from beginning to end, taking notes as I go along, and writing my thoughts down in a journal. That was the pattern I learned in college, and it has suited me well all these years since.

But then I think, "What about the daily Mass readings?" There's something to be said for reading along with the rest of the Church, but the "jumping around" bothers me and messes with my chi. (that's a joke, by the way). Trying to do both is a bit much for me right now, so I'm not sure where to go.

However, I'm a big reader, so spiritual reading in general is high on the list. I usually have books in every room of the house that I'm reading, including The Introduction to the Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales on my iPhone (gotta love iPieta!).

Daily examination of conscience is another good one, but truthfully, by the time I get Joseph down (and I'm usually holding him... like I said, he's a high-maintenance baby), I'm not in a very prayerful mood. Chalk it up to immaturity or a lack of "dying to self," but at that moment the last thing I want is another responsibility staring me in the face. So I tend to save it for when I climb into bed, but you know how that works, don't you? Yeah, I usually get a general sense of "wow, I really blew it today," and then fall asleep before any real progress is made.

There's also weekly Rosary with our homeschooling group, weekly Mass (I truly wish I could go more often. My heart is calling, but right now I don't see how that would be possible), and quarterly confession.

I wish I could say that we say the Angelus at noon, or pray the Divine Mercy chaplet at 3:00 pm, or do a family Rosary/devotion time, but we don't. We pray at night as a family, but it's a pretty quick affair.

Not only to I have to think about what *I* need to be doing, but I'm also supposed to think about the spiritual lives of my kids, and help them develop good habits that they will carry all through life. I want them to be reading the Bible daily, for example, but where am I supposed to schedule that? Jesus is going to have to show me the answer to that one... and all these other questions...

But it would be helpful for me if any of you would be willing to share what practices YOU have found to be most beneficial. What do you do on a daily (or almost daily) basis?

If you're willing to share, leave a comment!


Taryn said...

This is an area I too am struggling with...I've gottne 1/2 way through a mothers rule...and it's been sitting for 2 weeks waiting for me to pick it back up. One thing we recently added that has been a real blessing is a CD of A rosary for children. We listen to it most days in the car...we usually only make it through a decade but the CD is lovely and the kids really like hearing other kids saying it along with them. God Bless.


Ouiz said...

Taryn, thank you for your comment!

Several people have suggested doing the Rosary in the car, so perhaps this is a gentle nudge in that direction?

I'm also going through the "Managers of their Homes" book, AND looking at FlyLady again, so perhaps our routine is going to be some sort of weird mix of all three.

Amber said...

Right now we're in a pretty good place, prayer-wise, in our home. We pray the Morning Offering, Mass Readings, something about the Saint of the Day (from the iPhone app) and petitionary prayer starting at 8. We pray the Angelus at noon, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3, then at night we pray a gratitude prayer (everyone gets a chance to say what specifically they are grateful for from that day) and we do a quick examination of conscience followed by the act of contrition, an Our Father, a Hail Mary, a Glory Be, and a nighttime prayer. Then I bless the kids and then it is bedtime. My eldest and I also do scripture reading independently before bed, which we discuss here and there - I need to get a little more structured about that, but we're heading in the right direction at least.

I'm not trying to give you a complex here, although at the moment I feel like I'm bragging - and believe me, that is not my intent!

We've built up to this, step by step, over the last 8-10 months, if not more. I have music alarms set on my computer (using iCal and iTunes) to play music shortly before noon and 3:00 and that helps keep us on track with those prayers. In the morning we started with a music cue and just praying the morning offering, some petitionary prayers and one or two other prayers (Hail Holy Queen, Magnificat, something along those lines). Just within the last two months we've added the Mass Readings - which has been quite a blessing. The bedtime prayer also grew as well, it started as a much simpler thing and I gradually added more pieces. The gratitude portion has been a particularly fruitful addition.

We used to pray more in the car - and during Lent we pray a lot in the car. If we're in the car first thing in the morning and we've skipped our usual morning prayer, it generally gets prayed in the car. Otherwise, we might pray a decade every now and again if we have a particular intention. We do pray the Angelus or the Divine Mercy Chaplet in the car if we happen to be there at that time. My 8-year old is good at keeping an eye on the time for that and often is the one who reminds me now! But I love all of it - I love how we are reminded to turn to God throughout our day, I love how the kids are growing in their experience with prayer, and I love how it keeps bringing our family together before God.

So in summary, the things I've found most effective are tying prayer to certain times of day, setting some sort of alarm/music cue to make sure the time gets noticed, and building the prayer routine gradually.

I hope this helps!!!

Ouiz said...

Amber, thank you so much for leaving such an encouraging comment!

I am thrilled to hear that yes, it can be done, as long as I take baby steps and don't try to make all the changes I'd like to see at once!

And don't worry... I didn't think you were bragging! I am eager to hear what other moms are doing, and how they are doing it.