Thursday, January 15, 2009

Reflections from a Mother's Heart

In keeping with my resolution for the New Year, here's another entry from my journal, Reflections from a Mother's Heart.

What kind of prayer did you say before you went to sleep? Who taught you to pray?

I had a whole litany of prayers I used to say before I went to sleep at night and I prayed these same prayers well into adulthood and I can't remember when I stopped praying them, but I did.

It started with the Sign of the Cross, then the Our Father, then a Hail Mary, then I would pray, Jesus, Mary and Joseph pray for me. The I would pray for God to give me good dreams and if he didn't have any good dreams for me that night, then don't give me any dreams at all. Then I would go through the list of everyone I wanted to bless starting with God Bless my mom, my dad, my brothers and sister, etc. By the time I got through this whole litany, I was relaxed and ready to go to sleep and more often than not, I didn't get any bad dreams. This was kind of like my mantra.

As to who taught me to pray, mostly my mother and my mother's family. I remember many a rosary being prayed with my mom's family. And of course I went to Catechism like a good little Catholic girl and learned from the nuns and the teachers.

One thing that I regret not learning was how to really pray. Not just reciting memorized prayers that I could say in my head while I was thinking with the forward part of my brain what I was going to have for breakfast the next morning, but really praying and speaking with God. I did learn that later but it would have been nice to have someone teach me to pray like that as a child.

A few years ago, I was a teacher for 1st year Confirmation students and I tried to teach them to pray like that. I told them to just talk to God, it didn't mean that to pray to him they had to memorize all those prayers in their catechism. They could just talk to him throughout the day just maybe when they pass a test say, "Whew God, thank you, that was a close one", or "God thanks, mom makes the best burgers, wish you could taste them". I hope it stuck in some of their head because God knows the older we get, the more you need God and unfortunately that's when God tests you the most and you start to lose faith.

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