You know those days … the ones where you barely make it through with your eyes open? Maybe your toddler was backed up and screamed in discomfort all night long, wooing the house with his song of agony. Or work called and you had to go in an hour early just to show up and stare at a wall for who knows what reason since 99% of the world is still sleep.
Those are the days that I find praying the hardest. On my good days, my mind is totally with it and have energy and life is exciting and I’m praying, working, and just crushing this vocation to marriage and motherhood. But on my “those” days … yeah. This is where we fist pump, belly bump, high five and grunt at each other for making it out alive.
So what to do to pray on those days? I mean, we know we need to pray. We love God, we desire sanctity more than coffee, and we really honestly want to be awesome at this Catholic way of life. Yet when “those” days come, I’m more likely to choose one of the following options:
- Binge 30 Rock on Netflix and pretend I’m not responsible for 3
- Eat my 4th bowl of leftover jambalaya so at least one part of my body is in constant motion so I can stay awake.
- Duct tape my eyelids open and sleep secretly while my kids think I’m watching them.
Yesterday was a day for me. I had a mild aversion to prayer and just felt so over it all. It took everything in me to get through the day let alone find time to pray a substantial amount (and let’s not even talk about my attention span during that small prayer time).
I wanted today to be different. I started the day with coffee (always) and prayed/read through some of St. Faustina’s Diary. This paragraph really hit me in a soft spot…
Saint Joseph urged me to have a constant devotion to him. He himself told me to recite three prayers [the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be] and the Memorare once every day. He looked at me with great kindness and gave me to know how much he is supporting this work [of mercy]. He has promised me this special help and protection. I recite the requested prayers every day and feel his special protection. (Paragraph 1203).
St. Faustina is a powerhouse. She was visited by Jesus Himself, Our Lady, and the Saints. God even took her on a tour of Hell in order to understand the great need souls have of Divine Mercy, and suffered intensely for years without modern pain medication. Yet, when St. Joseph paid her a visit, he asked her to say four prayers daily and he’d protect her. FOUR. And not like four long-winded fancy novena prayers. Four prayers that take under two minutes to pray.
It was a great reminder for me on the beastly days – Jesus simply wants our love. He thirsts for our love. Even a love that is weary and worn down by life. A love that gives just four prayers if that’s all we have so long as it’s given from the heart. Not even St. Joseph demanded precision and length of prayers from a powerhouse Saint. It reminded me that I can take a deep breath, not be so hard on myself, and return the focus to Love.
So, on the beastly days, I’ll choose love. I’ll pray – even if it’s four simple prayers and a look to heaven because that’s all I can give. And I know heaven hears.