Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The 1st "P" in Our Rule of Life: Prayer

In case you missed it, part of my Lenten mission this year is to create a Boucher Family Rule of life modeled after Holly Pierlot's A Mother's Rule of Life.

Yesterday, I shared the essential tasks of my vocation and wrote a family mission statement.

Today, I'm starting my examination of the "5 P's"

  1. Prayer
  2. Person
  3. Partner
  4. Parent
  5. Provider
I'll tackle one "P" each day for the next five days.  

First up: Prayer.

Holly Pierlot is right on when she writes that we have to schedule prayer "because God isn't so obviously urgent, because he doesn't pester us for our attention like our children or sloppy house can."  Holly suggests making a list of all of the things you think ought to comprise a healthy prayer life.  For me and where I am in my spiritual journey, those things include:

  • Morning Offering
    • Remember that the work of my vocation is prayer and consciously offer each chunk of the day to God to "supernaturalize the day" and "tackle every task as a direct response to God, just as if he were asking you, 'Will you go do your laundry now?'"
      • Holly Pierlot has a tremendous section on overcoming sloth by offering God our efforts.  She shares Fr. John Hardon's definition of sloth as "sluggishness of soul or boredom of the exertion necessary for the performance of any good work."
      • Regularly offer God my efforts in mental prayer
  • Daily Readings & Gospel Reflection
  • Angelus at Noon
  • Saint of the Day Reflection
  • Family Prayer (Rosary, bedtime prayers, prayer to St. Joseph as our family's patron saint)
  • Couple Prayer with Philip before bed (reading from our Catechism reflection book and spontaneous prayer)
  • Regular examination of conscience and regularly scheduled reconciliation 
  • Journaling about habits of sin and distractions from my vocation
  • Mass (start small with one day each week in addition to Sunday and Holy Days of Obligation)
  • Holy Hour (Share a holy hour with Philip and alternate weeks that we go)
  • Formal Study (Currently working on The Bible Timeline)
After determining the things I would like to have as a part of my regular prayer life, Holly suggests actually putting them into your schedule.  For me, it would look like this:

  • Throughout the day: Offer chunks of time to God to "supernaturalize my day"
  • Before kids wake up: Morning Offering, dedicate day to God, Daily Readings, and Gospel Reflection
  • With kids at breakfast: Morning Offering and Saint of the Day Reflection
  • 8:15: Daily Mass (starting with one day a week in addition to Sunday & Holy Days)
  • Noon: Angelus with the children after lunch
  • During children's naptime: Formal study (Bible Timeline), examination of conscience and journaling (start with once a week)
  • After dinner: Family prayer time (Rosary or special prayers according to liturgical season, bedtime prayers)
  • 8:00 p.m. every other Tuesday: shared Holy Hour with Philip
  • 9:30 p.m.: Couple prayer with Philip (Read from Catechism reflection book, spontaneous prayer)

A few questions for you:

  • Do you have an examination of conscience that you particularly like and can share?  What about a kid friendly examination?
  • What resources do you use to enter into the Daily Readings?  A special app?  Homilies?  
  • Do you have a formal study that you would recommend?
  • Do you have a saint of the day resource that is great for reading with children?  How do you share the stories of saints with your children?
  • What does your couple prayer time look like?
  • Do you have any insights to share on prayer in general?
Tomorrow, I'll take on the 2nd P: Person.  That entails all of the things I need to do to keep my person healthy and ready to serve.  

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This is my 3rd of 7 posts in Jen Fulwiler's "7 Days, 7 Posts" challenge.  Come on over, join in the fun link-up, and read some great blogs!


  1. Father Mike Schmitz has podcasts of his homilies. They are awesome!!

    1. Emily, I thought I replied to your comment a few days ago, but it must not have worked. Thanks for your recommendation. I'll be sure and check out his podcasts. I'm a total podcast junkie when I'm working on stuff around the house!

    2. Whoops! I was signed in under Philip's account. :)

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thanks for sharing your rule! I had read the book back when my first born was a baby and have been meaning to review it again. Isn't Lent such a perfect time to start!? It's like New Year's resolution time for Catholics :)

    Anyway, one of the things I've been trying to include in addition to morning Gospel reflection and the Angelus at noon is a 3pm Divine Mercy Chaplet - you tube has some beautiful sung versions! As for daily Mass, I'm struggling to work around my youngest's morning nap (sadly the area Church's only offer a 9am Mass) but I started tuning into the online one offered through CatholicTV and it's been awesome! I was surprised to find my toddler really get into it - I think it helps that she can see everything better and I can take more time to explain what's going on.

    Looking forward to reading about your other Ps! :) And I'll be keeping you in my prayers as you put your house on the market!

    (Deleted the first comment because I forgot to click notify me for replies!)

    1. Erin,

      Thanks for popping over to my blog! I completely agree about Lent having the feel of a New Year (kinda makes sense anyway since Passover is like a combined New Year's Day & Independence Day for the Jews). I've been looking for a sung version of the Divine Mercy Chaplet to add to our devotions. I'll be sure and check YouTube--great idea! I'm so with you on naptime interfering with getting to daily Mass. There's a nearby church with Mass before lunchtime, but it might be good practice for us to start viewing Mass on television, too. I hope to resume the other Ps tomorrow, and I look forward to hearing your feedback! Thank you for your prayers with the house stuff. I really appreciate it! Have a great weekend!