on the Go
Catholic Mom Book Spotlight on
Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray
by Lisa M. Hendey
a busy wife and mother, I frequently lament my lack of consistent
prayer time. I recently had a great conversation with a sixty-something
year old grandmother, who shared with me about her Morning Prayer ritual.
She described the corner nook in her bedroom where a cozy, overstuffed chair
welcomed her each morning for her sunrise meditation. Tea in hand, she
greets each day with an hour long session of spiritual reading, silent
meditation and prayer. Her children are grown and her morning hours are her
own to plan - she prioritizes her prayer time at the beginning of each new
my best efforts, I must confess to frequently neglecting a long period of
prayer and meditation each morning. That time all too often gets eaten up
by parental duties and work, as I race to complete the multitude of tasks
that litter a Mom's daily "to do" list in the limited hours of each day.
There never seems to be enough time – intellectually and
spiritually I know that prayer is tantamount to what I consider to be a
“good day” – it is the key ingredient to my existence. But unlike my woman
friend and her cozy morning ritual, my prayers seem to happen more often “on
the fly”. I call on God frequently each day, but rarely from the seat of a
chair. More often it’s in a parking lot, a supermarket, aside a sports
field, or even while I’m brushing my teeth. I’ve long been concerned about
making these prayers “count”, about making them substantive, rather than
book out from award winning author Barbara Bartocci has breathed fresh air
and energy in to my prayer life. In
Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray (Morehouse Publishing, paperback, 98 pages, May 2006),
Bartocci acknowledges life’s frantic pace and offers her readers support and
encouragement for making active, frequent prayer a part of their lives. In
the beginning of the book, Bartocci describes her own frustration over
trying to lead a truly spiritual life. With the following words, Bartocci
hits at the heart of what, in my book, makes her
Grace on the Go
realized that “living spiritually” is not something that exists out
there. It’s a commitment to make our lives – as they unfold –
a gift to God.”
Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray
is not like other tomes on prayer I’ve
seen – it’s designed to be read in small bits. From its diminutive 2.6
ounce design to its format of being written in small segments, the book
lends itself to any active life. Tuck it into your purse or diaper bag.
Slip it into the front zipper pocket of your organizer. Set it in the glove
compartment or cup holder of your car. Then pick it up and dive in. It
doesn’t matter which page you land on when you open the book – you’ll find
immediate inspiration and motivation. I’ve been enjoying and frequently
reading it during my daily activities and have found it to be a wonderful
closing pages of the book, Barbara Bartocci references Mother Theresa's
statement that the busier her life became, the greater her need for prayer.
The same holds true for you and I - grace comes in finding moments each day,
no matter where life puts us, to turn our hearts to God.
Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray visit
Lisa M. Hendey is a mother of two sons, webmaster of numerous web sites,
http://www.christiancoloring.com, and an avid reader of Catholic
literature. Visit her at
http://www.lisahendey.com for more information.
Barbara Bartocci generously shares the following excerpts from
Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray.
We thank Barbara Bartocci and
her publisher, Morehouse Publishing, for their generosity.
Ordinary Tasks into One Minute Prayers
by Barbara Bartocci
a lot of moms, I wished I had more time to pray. For me, it was like losing
those last five pounds. I had great plans to do it, but never seemed to get
occurred to me that living more prayerfully is like any other seemingly
daunting task. The way to do it is to break it into bite-size pieces. It’s
not something that exists to do “out there” or in only one place (like
church). It’s a commitment to make our lives a gift to God as they unfold.
So I began looking for practical and imaginative ways to put a spiritual
spin on the daily tasks I was already doing.
them one-minute prayers. Maybe these will give you some ideas.
Give an alarm clock alleluia. When you alarm goes off, repeat this line
from the Psalms: “This is the day the Lord has made. I rejoice and am
glad.” Commit to living in gratitude for the day.
Practice shower power. As you soap and rinse, pray to be cleansed from
any feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness or regret. Recall the words of
Isaiah (58:11) “…You shall be like a watered garden, whose waters never
Practice driveway meditation. Before starting your car for the morning
commute, place your hands lightly on the steering wheel and breathe deeply.
Ask God to steer you through your day.
in the spirit. Need gas? As you fill your car, ask God to fill you with
loving kindness toward everyone you meet that day. (Yes, even the driver who
almost cuts you off as you’re turning out of the gas station.)
Be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm comes from the Greek and means “God within.”
Greet projects at work and everyone you meet with enthusiasm. Notice how
people brighten in response.
Make a red light act of contrition. Stuck at the light? Use the moment
to think about your day. Have you been rude, irritable, or otherwise not
lived up to your best? Say a prayerful “I’m sorry.”
Connect at the supermarket. There is a gift in making eye contact with
someone. Make eye contact and smile at the supermarket clerk or the gas
station attendant or someone you run into. Let your eyes say, “I see you.
You’re not just a thing to me. I see you.”
Sit quietly with your child at night. Not everyone has a child, but if
you do, sit in your child’s darkened bedroom with your arms wrapped tenderly
around your sleepy head. Remember that you, too, are held by a loving God.
Trade the 10 p.m. news for vespers. Late night news is full of violence.
Don’t go to sleep with violence on the brain. Trade in the news in for quiet
time with peaceful music or reading.
Practice night-time TAPS. Offer thanksgiving, show adoration
to the creator, petition for your needs, express sorrow if
you’ve hurt another in any way. Sleep well.
one-minute prayers are excerpted from my new book,
Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray (Morehouse Publishing, $9.95, ISBN #
0-8192-2230-5). It’s a book you can easily tuck into your purse, backpack
or diaper bag.
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