Prayers…On the GEAUX!

"Nativity of Christ" by Rohden

“Nativity of Christ” by Rohden

As we say in South Louisiana… this is Lagniappe, y’all… MERRY CHRISTMAS! MAY I SUGGEST: KEEP JOURNEYING WITH THE WISE MEN!

Christmas always brings about reflection, and as a working Catholic mom, reflection about the year always brings about interesting insight. This year, I am choosing to focus my reflection on prayer…Wait…wait…don’t leave the post yet…I think I can help. I think there are great tips about prayer that just don’t become “strategy,” but actually become conversation with Our Lord.

My prayer life has been up and down this year. Lots of working Catholic moms that I talk to say the same thing. It is difficult to juggle all things, and sometimes we are trying to “fit” prayer into the day. I heard someone say recently that your work is your prayer…

Translation for all: No matter what you are doing throughout the day, you are responding to God’s grace and pull to be in relationship with Him.

Translation for Mary (me): My work as a higher education administrator is for God. My time throughout the day belongs to Him, and I must honor that through the way in which I do my work, and how I respond to His graces throughout my work day.

Ok…Lesson learned this year for sure! (Please let it stick, please let it stick, please let it stick).

As Catholics, we are blessed to have all sorts of ways to pray. We are not limited to emotional heartfelt praying (though that is also good for the soul). In the wisdom of Holy Mother Church, we have a plethora of prayers to choose from throughout the day. In fact, some of these prayers are prescribed at certain times of the day (i.e. the Angelus). Some are short ejaculatory prayers, which are easy to memorize, and can be said mentally or aloud throughout the day. That’s sort of where I want to go with these thoughts today.

I’ve been praying morning and evening prayers from my Mother Love prayer book. This prayer book is for Christian Wives and Mothers, with a special information section about the Confraternity of Christian Mothers. Even if you are not part of the Confraternity, this little book is filled with prayer suggestions. I love using this book, and it has brought me much happiness on how to pray.

For the last few weeks during Advent, I realized that I could use some of these ejaculatory prayers throughout the day as I work. And guess what? You can, too! This morning, I even thought of different scenarios where for my work, they would be perfect.

Here are a few of these prayers to ponder:

1. All for the greater honor and glory of God!

OK…here is a perfect prayer to begin your day! If you think about it, everything we do, whether we work in or out of the home, is for the greater honor and glory of God. The way I supervise staff, the way I respond to students, the way I respond to my supervisor. How are others to know we live a different type of life – one rooted in the love of Christ – if not by our actions at work? If we remember first thing in the morning, before even pouring our blessed coffee, that this is all for the greater honor and glory of God, how much more will our actions be in line with His Holy Will throughout the day? AND…what if we repeat this several times in the day? For example, when I am coaching an employee, I get very nervous, and start to wonder if the employee will take it well. Will they accept it in the same way it is given? If I start with this prayer first, it sets my attitude for the coaching session. I am able to stay focused on what is needed from the conversation, knowing that I am doing this as part of my job, yes, but delivering it in a spirit of love and support. That employee’s best interest is foremost in my mind. This prayer helps me to stay focused in my attitude about this, and helps me stay on the right path in the conversation.

2. My God and my all.

ANYTIME during the day, this ejaculatory prayer is easy to recite, and perfect for the situation. I would offer one way I have used this prayer. Have you ever dreaded the long meeting days during the work week? I know I have. I HATE MEETINGS! You can definitely confirm this with my staff at work. Knowing I can take God into that meeting, in my heart, I am comforted. I know that I am not alone. I know that even things within the meeting are a part of God’s plan, and that I can lean on Him during the meeting, when I find myself wandering in my thoughts.

3. Lord, please help me today to be a good wife, mother, and neighbor.

This one is filled with meaning for me. If you are male, please substitute the words as appropriate. If you are single, same thing. If you have no children, same thing. Any mixture of the above, please do the same thing… I have to remember at work, faith is a mixture of both my beliefs and my actions. I don’t have a “blind faith.” I have a “Lived FAITH.” At work, I am still wife, mother, neighbor. Though my husband, and children are not at work with me, I am mindful of them throughout the day. The decisions I make at work are a reflection of all those parts of me, not just my “work-outside-the-home” part. At work, I am sometimes known as “Momma Mary.” I used to HATE that because in my line of work, it is not good to be thought of as replacing the momma. However, I have now come to appreciate that role, and think of it as informal feedback. To me, it means I am being nurturing, caring, relational, protective, informational, transformational, etc. In my line of work, that is good leadership. This prayer helps me to stay integrated and focused on this very role.

4. (this one is not in the book): Jesus, I trust you.

How many times have you thought that perhaps you were not in the right career? Or the right job? Or the right town? Or the right family? As I wrote that, in my head I was saying, “Amen, sister!” I have thought all of these things at some point in my life. Recently, my friend Staci (who I co-host with on Faith and Good Counsel radio show in Baton Rouge), gave me this statement. I say it now throughout the day. When I think, “Why am I called to this work?,” I quickly throw up a, “Jesus, I trust you.” When I think, “I want to stay at home with my children,” I quickly throw up a, “Jesus, I trust you.” When I think, “These burdens are too heavy. I have too much to do, too little time,” I quickly throw up a, “Jesus, I trust you.” Now, when you are “throwing it up,” do it with reverence and love, not obligation. I have found that to have the best result. The result, you ask? Constant attention to your relationship with Jesus. Nurturing of the graces He has given you. Peace in the moment you need it. A settling of your spirit of criticism. The list goes on – but you have to be open to what comes back to you on this one, for sure.

As we enter a new season in our Liturgical year, let us enter a new season in our hearts. As we ponder the great mysteries of our faith, and enter more fully into the Year of Faith, let us honor God in ALL that we do, including our work. Let us be mindful that nothing is wasted or ignored in our work. I try to remember that He has called me to this work, and He has given me all that is needed to do the things that must be done. I think of the teachers in Newtown, CT. In their work, they honored God. I think of my husband’s surgeons and therapists when he was in a coma and recovery. In their work, they honored God. I think of one past supervisor in particular. She was incredible in her job – had many new initiatives, mentored several students and staff, and had such a gracious attitude and personality. In her work, she honored God. When I operate in this way, sending little prayers to God all day, I am not “fitting prayer in.” I am being a prayerful person throughout the day, knowing it is only through God that I can even do the work I do. I am challenging myself when I say: Let us honor God this year in our work, using these short ejaculatory prayers to be mindful of His presence throughout our work day. Will you join me? And, by the way, if you have other suggestions, please let us know! Your words may be just what others need to hear.

Peace of Christ to you and yours this year!


Like Mary’s facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/TheWorkingCatholicMom


Please help us in our mission to assist readers to integrate their Catholic faith, family and work. Tell your family and friends about this article using both the Share and Recommend buttons below and via email. We value your comments and encourage you to leave your thoughts below. Thank you! – The Editors

Print this entry

About the Author

Mary Wallace, PhD, is a devout Catholic wife of 20 years, mother of 4 daughters, and college administrator for 19 years. Mary obtained her doctorate in Human Resource Education and Workforce Development, and has a particular research interest in faith and work issues. Her dissertation contains research insight from women working in the public sector who bring their faith to work, and using it to inform their leadership. It is through this research that Mary was able to start the blog, The Working Catholic Mom (www.theworkingcatholicmom.com). Mary is also the co-host of a Catholic radio show: Faith and Good Counsel, on Baton Rouge Catholic Community Radio. The radio show is focused on women living full lives of faith. As a college administrator for over 19 years, Mary has worked with a wide range of young adults. Spending the first 14 years in the college housing industry, she has a knowledge and experience of working with complex environment, large staffs, and multi-million dollar budgets. Using this knowledge, she has led numerous staffs through strategic planning processes, performance management, training and development, and developing human capital. Her current role focuses on student leadership development, service/volunteerism, and general involvement on a college campus. Mary approaches her leadership with faith as a foundation, though her employment has been mainly with public institutions of higher education. In 2002, Mary became the main wage earner in her family, when her husband, Steven, became disabled as a result of a traumatic brain injury after a ruptured colon left him sceptic and in the hospital for an entire summer, followed by a year of neuro-rehabilitation. The Wallace’s focused on their faith, and discerned each step of a new journey, full of Christian suffering and joy. During this time, Mary was thankful for her education, and God-given skills and talents to work, and to earn an income to support her family. This is also a time Mary learned to bring her faith to work, in a way that integrated her faith and leadership approach. Mary’s work brings her great joy, but the greatest joy she has is through her faith and her family. She is a devoted wife, and mother of 4 daughters. It is this role that Mary feels her best leadership shines. She spends lots of time in service with her church, and volunteering for different youth events with her children. Mary is an avid reader and writer, and focuses her reading attention on women’s interest in the Catholic Church, with particular interest in Blessed John Paul II writings and philosophies about women. Mary also enjoys dancing with her girls in her living room (when no one is looking), and cooking simple satisfying meals for the entire family and all of their friends. Mary is available to speak to your group. Check out ICL's speaker pages for her topics and to book Mary.

Author Archive Page

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *