The following is an excerpt by Michelle Faehnle from The Ave Maria Prayerbook for Catholic Mothers. Order your copy today for only $18 (regularly $21.95) by using the code PATRICE at check-out (code good through October 15, 2021). I’m excited to be a contributor to this book and know you will love reading all the #prayerstories included. You may even discover some new favorite prayers! – Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, Editor, TodaysCatholicHomeschooling.com
When my children were all little, I adapted one of their preschool songs to describe my household tasks. It went like this:
Hurry, hurry, do the dishes,
Hurry, hurry, fold the laundry,
Hurry, hurry, pick the kids up,
Then start over again.
I added in other lines when making dinner, scrubbing toilets, sweeping the floor, changing diapers, and performing many of the other daily chores I had to do in addition to my job as a nurse. It was exhausting, thankless work that I did not enjoy.
It was about that time that I began reading the Diary of Saint Faustina Maria Kowalska, a Polish sister who received extraordinary visions of Jesus and chronicled them in her Diary. This saint is most known for the image Jesus instructed her to have painted: the risen Christ, standing with one arm raised in blessing, the other pulling back his garment to reveal pale and red rays emanating from his heart.Below the image are transcribed the words, “Jesus, I trust in You.”
Reading the Diary, I began to learn more about the devotion to Divine Mercy, a radical call to live a life transformed by mercy, and about Jesus’ desire to have the message of mercy spread throughout the world. St. Faustina was a simple sister whose daily tasks included cooking, cleaning, gardening, washing clothes, and answering the door at the convent. She offered all her difficult little sacrifices throughout her day to Jesus, as if they were a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
This is one of my favorite prayers from the Diary. It has helped me change my perspective on the mundane tasks of motherhood, allowing them to help transform me into a vessel of mercy.
St. Faustina’s Prayer of Transformation
O Most Holy Trinity! As many times as I breathe, as many times as my heart beats, as many times as my blood pulsates through my body, so many thousand times do I want to glorify Your mercy.
I want to be completely transformed into Your mercy and to be Your living reflection, O Lord. May the greatest of all divine attributes, that of Your unfathomable mercy, pass through my heart and soul to my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my eyes may be merciful, so that I may never suspect or judge from appearances but look for what is beautiful in my neighbors’ souls and come to their rescue.
Help me, that my ears may be merciful, so that I may give heed to my neighbors’ needs and not be indifferent to their pains and moanings.
Help me, O Lord, that my tongue may be merciful, so that I should never
speak negatively of my neighbor but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all.
Help me, O Lord, that my hands may be merciful and filled with good deeds, so that I may do only good to my neighbors and take upon myself the more difficult and toilsome tasks.
Help me, that my feet may be merciful, so that I may hurry to assist my neighbor, overcoming my own fatigue and weariness. My true rest is in the service of my neighbor.
Help me, O Lord, that my heart may be merciful so that I myself may feel all the sufferings of my neighbor. I will refuse my heart to no one. I will be sincere even with those who, I know, will abuse my kindness. And I will lock myself up in the most merciful Heart of Jesus. I will bear my own suffering in silence.
May Your mercy, O Lord, rest upon me.
Michele Faehnle is the coauthor of Divine Mercy for Moms, The Friendship Project, and Pray Fully.
This excerpt from The Ave Prayer Book for Catholic Mothers is reprinted with permission of the publisher, Ave Maria Press. Preorder a copy of the prayer book at a special price of $18 and free shipping with the Code: PATRICE on avemariapress.com. Good through October 15, 2021.