Last night, I asked my husband a scary question: “How can I love you better?” It’s scary because I know it’s honesty time, and sometimes hearing the truth from those we love can hurt, as in “stop nagging me about XYZ, a little more appreciation for XYZ would be nice,” etc. Instead, he was quiet for a loooong time, then said, “Take care of yourself.”
It’s true, I haven’t been doing all I can for myself, and clearly it’s affecting him (and probably the kids).
The first thing I need to do to take care of myself is work on my relationship with God. If God is love (which He IS), then I need to be sure I’m keeping up with HIM before I can be my best in my other relationships. God is the source of all love, so it makes sense that the better I am in my relationship with God–who is LOVE–the better I will be in my other relationships.
Sometimes, though, I’m so tired, or overwhelmed, or whatever that I just don’t know how to start again or get deeper in that most important relationship. And then I remember that it is simple, and thank my stars that my Catholic faith has given me helps, and I take a deep breath and pray.
To start off, all Christians know the Lord’s Prayer. We can’t go wrong praying the words Jesus specifically taught us.
Then, there’s the rosary. The “Hail Mary” is less about Mary-worship and all about asking Mary for prayers (“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners…”) and seeing Jesus’ life through the mysteries of the rosary. Of course in the rosary we also pray the Lord’s Prayer, as well as the Glory Be. There is so much going on here! Jesus’ words given to us for prayer, asking Mary to pray for us (as in, asking Jesus’ own mother to speak to her son on our behalf, and what son doesn’t listen to his mother?), meditating on Jesus’ life as we pray, as well as praising God in the Glory Be. Wow.
Another way I love to pray and deepen my relationship with God is in reading the daily Mass readings, letting the words sit and stir my soul, and reading devotions from Blessed Is She. Food for the soul, my friends. Food for the soul.
And that’s that. Simple ways to pray, deepen my relationship with my God, and by growing closer to the One who is Love, I also get better at loving those He has put into my life.