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No matter what happens in the world, Sarah Damm maintains, we are called to make a difference inside the walls of our homes.

Ask anyone, and they will probably agree that 2020 has been challenging, stressful, and difficult — to say the least. As the world spins out of control, we are left feeling overwhelmed and weary.

And we helplessly wonder, “As a Catholic mom, what can I really do anyway? To make a difference or bring about change?”

We Have a Job to Do

The reality is that even in the midst of a pandemic, riots and violence, and ugly politics, Catholic moms still have an essential purpose.

No matter what is happening “out there,” we are called to make a difference inside the walls of our homes, in the lives of our family members and friends. Our reach may seem small, but we have a huge impact on the people right in front of us.

For whatever reason, God has each of us living “for just such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14) And when we run to Him for assistance, we can be confident that He will bless us with peace, strengthen our resolve, and focus our attention on what matters most.

This autumn, let’s fall into the arms of Jesus. There, we will not only find a refuge and safe haven; we will also find the nourishment and strength we need to do God’s will — no matter what unique circumstances the world hurls at us.

Start With Prayer

When we root ourselves in a daily prayer routine, we are better equipped to take busyness, stress, and other challenges in stride. Rather than allow those things to overwhelm us, we can anchor ourselves with prayer and remain close to Jesus all day long.

Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Designate a prayer time and space.
  • Begin with 10 minutes and increase the time, little by little
  • Consider following Morning Prayer in the Magnificat.
  • End your prayer by asking your Guardian Angel and Michael to guide and protect the rest of your day.

Read Scripture More Than News

When we pray, we speak to God; but when we read, God speaks to us. (St. Jerome)

To begin daily Scripture reading, or lectio divina, follow these steps:

  • Start with the daily Psalm or Gospel.
  • Read it slowly several times.
  • Highlight words and phrases that stand out to you. This is usually God’s personal message for you, so pay close attention.
  • Notice what rises in your heart: thoughts, emotions, memories, hopes, fears, or dreams. Offer them to God.
  • Listen for His response, through Scripture or a stirring in your heart.
  • Journal your experience.

Set Media Limits

To guard your heart, soul, time, and attention from an endless barrage of information, consider setting social media and news limits.

  • Resist checking your phone first thing in the morning.
  • Promise to pray before you turn on your phone or computer.
  • Manage screen time via an app.
  • Take a weekly Sabbath from screens (i.e., Sundays from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.).
  • Find screen-free challenges and other helpful accountability ideas here.

Stay Present to the Moment, to Those in Front of You

There is a lot of advice about focusing on what we can control and surrendering what we can’t. In the Surrender Novena, we ask Jesus to “take care of everything.” When we do this, we learn to ignore the noise, chaos, and craziness that we cannot do anything about, and we turn our attention to the things within our sphere of influence.

Decide what matters most to you, and make those things happen! Here are a few ideas to spark your imagination:

  • Consider fall projects you want to tackle.
  • Refresh your calendar with meaningful plans.
  • Recommit to family prayer.
  • Invite a friend over for coffee.
  • Schedule family meals.
  • Enjoy the fall weather by taking an evening walk after dinner.
  • Visit an orchard, farmer’s market, or pumpkin patch.

When we make prayer a holy habit, we fall safely in the arms of Jesus. #catholicmom

There are many things we can do to maintain peace in our hearts and to be attentive to what matters most — even when the world feels chaotic and overwhelming. When we make prayer a holy habit, we fall safely in the arms of Jesus. And then, everything else in our lives falls gently into place, too.

Copyright 2020 Sarah Damm
Image: Jakob Owens (2016), Unsplash