This last Saturday, I went to confession with a different priest for the first time in 3.5 years. Fr. Joe is now officially in Washington D.C. 😦 In his stead, until we find a permanent priest, we’ve been appointed Fr. David Moretti, a priest we stole from the Antiochans.
I thought it would be hard confessing to a different priest, as confession is one of the most intimate acts a Christian ever goes through. But it wasn’t. I don’t know why I thought it would be. After all, we’re confessing to Christ, not a priest. And He’s always there.
Fr. David did have some great advice once I was done. I mentioned that I was having a hard time finding a few spare moments for my morning prayers. I feel like most days I’m lucky if I keep us in one piece! As a result of feeling overwhelmed, I rely too heavily on our evening family prayers as my sole nourishment. Sure, our family prayer time is special, but I also need individual accountability. I also want Gregory to grow up with the knowledge that Mommy wants to start the day off right! Children only learn by example, after all.
So Fr. David lent me one of his prayer books and said to start small– read one paragraph out loud every morning. Small, but consistent is better than an hour prayer time once a week. It’s about “staying the course”, not necessarily wind sprinting!
This was no ordinary prayer book, but an Akathist to the Mother of God , also known as “The Nurturer of Children”. The entire prayer, read as its own separate service, is about Motherhood. It consists of one mother (in this case, me) asking another mother (in this case, Mary) for prayers on behalf of her children (in this case, Gregory!). I can’t tell you how comforting it is to know that Jesus’ own Mother is also praying for my little baby! The more, the better!
I haven’t finished the entire thing, even though it’s only 24 pages– I kind of want to savor it, you know? But I thought I’d post sections that I find extra special. Since there are lots of mothers out there, I also figured that many of you would like to incorporate some of them into your prayer life!
Intercede with Thy Son and God, O Most Holy One, that an angel from heaven be sent to my children, just as to Thee was sent a most mighty protector, the Archangel Gabriel; and vouchsafe me to cry to Thee thus:
Raise my children to be earthly angels.
Raise my children to be heavenly men.
Raise my children to be Thy servants.
Raise my children to cry out to Thee: “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, The Lord is with Thee!”
Raise my children, O Lady, to be made worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven and make them heirs of eternal blessings.