Before I'm a mom, wife, friend, sister, or daughter, I am Catholic. I've felt that way for as long as I can remember. Other people recognize that about me and ask me to pray for them or for their special intention, and I appreciate that.
Some thing that I am always doing is praying. I pray constantly--for my kids, my family, for friends, and for so many other things, too. I don't always follow a set prayer routine but will sometimes bounce between a few prayers throughout the day. I say the Guardian Angel prayer when I think about my kids:
Angel of God, my guardian dear...protect my kids while they out with friends.
Angel of God, my guardian dear...the world needs more peace than senseless act of violence.
Angel of God, my guardian dear...I need comfort after feeling overwhelmed.
Some days when I pray, I have the Hail Mary on replay:
Hail Mary, full of grace...as I wake and start a new day.
Hail Mary, full of grace...as I change another one of Ronan's diapers.
Hail Mary, full of grace...as I struggle to understand why some things are so difficult.
Other days, I find myself saying only one part of that prayer:
Holy Mary, Mother of God...
When I find myself saying just that part, I don't finish the prayer. Instead, as I say, Holy Mary, Mother of God I imagine how Mary would've looked peacefully at baby Jesus as He woke from a nap. I imagine how Mary would've peered through the window as Joseph rounded the corner from a day of work. I imagine how Mary would've been pleased to see Jesus grow and develop like the other children in their village. Then, I imagine how Mary would've been humble, and holy, and generous, and respectful, and always kind in her actions, deeds, and responses to others.
Holy Mary, Mother of God...I, too, always wish to be humble, and holy, and generous, and respectful, and to only be kind in my actions, deeds, and responses. But, it's hard to always be humble. And holy. And generous. And respectful and kind in all that I do, in all that I say, and in all that I think.
I know it's possible though. So, I continue to pray and to look up to Mary, who today we honor as we celebrate the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
full of grace.
The Lord is with Thee.
Blessed are Thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners now,
and at the hour of death.