O most Holy Lord, who has waited for us so long, who continues to wait for us each time we fail, each time we turn away, instill in me the virtue of patience so that I might be more like you.
Grant me the grace I need to be patient with my husband when he has a bad day, to be patient with myself when I have a bad day; grant me the grace I need, O God, to speak to my babies in loving tones even when I am frustrated and feel unable even to pray.
Help me, Most Gracious One, to be kind, to be content, to be at ease. Let your Holy Spirit guide my emotions and my words, so that I might not only treat my family with unconditional love, but that I might be an inspiration to them and to others to grow closer to you in faith, in hope, and in charity.
I ask this through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
Autumn comes cleanly into my day.
It has us wearing jackets
and opening windows, stacking books
and rearranging toys; it has us moving furniture
and wiping baseboards, walking to school
and praying in church.
The three little ones and I stop in at the sanctuary.
We are there with two women, mopping and dusting,
and we have our first practice sitting with God.
Jesus in the tabernacle; Jesus in our heart.
It lasts twenty seconds.
After nap we pop outside for swinging and soccer,
but the two youngest stoop beside our out-of-service flower-pot,
spying rain around the bottom, and dip their hands
in the dirt-flecked water. Over and again: “Amen. A-men!” he says,
fingers touching forehead. “Amen,” she smiles, crossing herself.
Christ comes cleanly into my day.
These miracles, so bright I cover my eyes;
they bound, glide, skip before me and beside.
She rides his old training bike with eyes halfway closed;
he jukes and zags in front as she laughs from her toes,
and the little girl plays “touch each stone” along the way;
then it’s “touch the shoulder” when she finds me out of place.
Baby boy plays at cars, trucks, and tractors,
making their noise, making laughter.
The air moves and settles differently tonight;
it is the autumn coming, the new slant of light.
Ah, this wind, sweet-covered in leaf and seed-pod;
these miracles, rain-bursts of exhausting love.
They are four together and apart
sparkling each with their own purpose, their hearts
beating sorrowful now and again, though joy comes down with storms,
growing hurts, but this light hurts more.