In this selection from The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers, Lisa M. Hendey shares a prayer of entrusting her elderly parents to God.
As a woman in active ministry, I thought I had a fairly good understanding of the many and varied ways that God calls us to emulate Mary’s fiat by giving our own faith-filled yes to his will for our lives. But it wasn’t until my own mother’s journey into Parkinson’s disease and related dementia began to challenge our family in unforeseen ways that I really learned to walk my talk. In so many ways, accompanying my parents along their precipitous path of aging has sent me to my knees figuratively and literally.
As I type these words, Mom has entered the hospice phase of her earthly journey. Every night before I drift off to sleep, I ask God to hold his daughter Anne, my precious mother, in his arms in those moments when I physically cannot. I beg God to bring her peace and solace, to ease her physical and emotional pain, and to minister to her through the hands of her caregivers.
Mom is now largely nonverbal, apart from a garbled version of the Hail Mary that is her only form of speech. Yet she continues to teach me daily what it truly means to love God by loving others. I love that her instinct is to pray for us all, now and at the hour of death. I have every confidence that when Mom’s earthly journey ends, she will spend her eternity in God’s embrace, praying for us as she has always done. Until that moment, I beg God often for the courage to trust his perfect plan and for the grace to cherish Mom while she is with us.
This prayer was inspired by my experience of caring for my own parents. I hope it will inspire and encourage others in their caregiving journey.
A Caregiver’s Prayer
Loving Father, I offer into the warmth of your embrace your beloved children, my parents (names). While they remain with us in this life, I ask you for the means, courage, and empathy to lovingly provide for their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual care. Embolden me to advocate effectively on their behalf. Bless all of those who serve as their caretakers and let them minister to my parents with skill, wisdom, and compassion.
Through this simple prayer, I lift my loved ones into your arms, God. Calm my busy mind and help me to listen patiently. Help me to ease their pain, calm their fears, affirm their dignity, and above all to reassure them that they are cherished and loved.
Thank you for the gift they have been in my life and for the lessons they have taught me, and for the sense of purpose, mission, and faith they instilled in me. Whether I must love them from a distance or care for their daily needs, show me how to love them as they need to be loved. Give me your grace to see the face of your Son Jesus in their eyes. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Editor’s note: Lisa’s mother, Anne Marie Bartholomy, passed into her eternal home on April 29, 2021. Kindly remember Anne Marie in your prayers.
This is an excerpt from The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers, which will be published November 5. 2021.
The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers is your go-to resource to find the perfect words to lift up in prayer for almost any occasion or need. This beautiful, full-color, hardcover book includes a collection of original and traditional prayers and reflections from dozens of moms just like you. You might need “A Kitchen Sink Offering,” “The Nine Annoying Things Novena,” “The Rosary for Warriors,” or “A Birthday Prayer.” Or you might want to read about more traditional prayers such as the Angelus, the Jesus Prayer, or the Memorare.
Join familiar moms including Jackie Francois Angel, Karianna Frey, Rachel Bulman, Sarah Christmyer, Jenna Guizar, Lisa M. Hendey, Haley S. Stewart, Kathryn Whitaker, Kendra Tierney, Michele Faehnle, Emily Jaminet, and Kelly M. Wahlquist as they share their favorite prayers and stories as a way to help you refresh your prayer life, leading you into God’s presence.
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Copyright 2021 Lisa M. Hendey
Images courtesy of Ave Maria Press. All rights reserved.
This excerpt from The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers is printed here with the kind permission of Ave Maria Press.
About the Author
Lisa M. Hendey is the founder of CatholicMom.com, a bestselling author and an international speaker. A frequent radio and television guest, Hendey travels internationally giving workshops on faith, family, and communications. Visit Lisa at LisaHendey.com or on social media @LisaHendey for information on her speaking schedule or to invite her to visit your group, parish, school or organization. Visit Lisa's author page on Amazon.com.