Many years ago, I purchased the 1926 edition of Mother Love: A Manual for Christian Mothers at a thrift store. The book contained devotions, litanies, and quaint but ever-relevant prayers for a mother to recite with and for her family. “A Mother’s Prayer to the Guardian Angels of Her Children” was a favorite of mine, as was the “Prayer for Resignation and Patience”! Thanks be to God, I also had occasion over the years to recite the “Prayer for a Happy Delivery.”

But ten years ago, when my son Leo was 17, he abandoned the Faith. Since then, the first prayer I turn to in the "Mother Love" manual is the "Prayer for the Conversion of a Child.” I'm sharing it here for the benefit of other mothers whose children have left the Church:

O Heart of Jesus, I humbly prostrate myself before You, adoring You as the Heart of my Lord and my God.  Pardon the sins by which I have offended You and rendered myself unworthy of Your mercies. For Your own sake, O Lord, for the honor and glory of Your infinite mercy, have pity on me! Hearken to my supplications for grace and salvation for my strayed child.  From all eternity You have loved him (her) and borne him (her) in Your Heart. Have mercy on him (her). Your will is that he (she) be converted and live. Effect in him (her) what You have decreed. You can do all that You will; you do not will the perdition of my child. Draw him (her) from the deep abyss into which he (she) has sunk. Loosen the bonds of sin in which he (she) is chained. You have bought him (her) at a great price; take possession of Your property. He (she) was once dedicated to You in holy baptism; let not Your enemies rejoice longer over him (her). You have opened in Your Church a fountain of pardon and grace; lead him (her) to where he (she) may imbibe new life. Hearken to the prayers of Your Blessed Mother, of Your saints, and of all the elect for this my child, who once belonged to their society, but is now so far astray.  Listen to my prayers, the prayers of a mother, O You who cannot hear unmoved a mother’s supplication for her child. Grant me what is dearest to me on earth, the salvation of my child, and I will eternally praise Your holy name! Amen.

[tweet "A prayer for our children who have left the #faith, shared by @CelesteBehe"]

Copyright 2017 Celeste Behe