A post-rosary prayer for my marriage

This is an approximation of a prayer that I offer each day after the rosary I say for my husband, my marriage and my family. Of course, it can be tweaked according to your circumstances and doesn’t need to be offered after a rosary.

Lord, through the intercession of your Blessed Mother, please accept this rosary as an offering for the good of my marriage.

May our union be long, happy, healthy and holy.

May your Most Holy Mother pray for me that I would imitate her, striving to love my family as perfectly as she loves hers, and that I would grow in the virtues modelled so flawlessly by her.

I pray that through the intercession of her spouse, your foster father, St. Joseph, my husband will come to love You and Your Church. May St. Joseph intercede for him to grow as a loving husband and father, who will ultimately lead his family towards Christ.

May the Spirit guide me today and always to be the wife that my husband needs me to be, and the mother than my daughter needs me to be. I pray that, by your Grace, I will help to lead them Home.

Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

Obstacles and excuses

As I was going about my day today, I was mentally grumbling about the deficiencies in my prayer life. Having started a 54-day rosary novena for the first time, I’ve gotten into the habit of praying a scriptural rosary with the Rosary Cast podcast when I get up with my daughter around 6am. Which is great! But, I was thinking, first thing in the morning is the only time I have for fruitful prayer: my husband is asleep, the baby is occupied with her milk and renewed joy to play with her toys. If I had a devout Catholic husband, we could pray together in the evenings – perhaps a litany to our favourite family saints, bedtime prayers with our daughter, an examen before sleeping.

But then, as if St. Michael or Our Lady or some other saintly friend had my back, I almost felt these complaints, sent by the devil, being squashed by the Truth of God. Yes, I have some specific obstacles to my ‘ideal’ prayer life. But doesn’t everyone? It’s my choice to either let those obstacles stand in the way of my relationship with God, or to recognise that my prayer life will be as fruitful as I make it. Would it not be more beneficial to offer up those frustrations as prayer, thereby making them part of my prayer life? Does God not always make space for more prayer when we look for the parts of our days and our lives in which we can grow in intimacy with Our Lord?

This is not to undermine the real sadness and sorrow that comes with being unable to pray with my spouse. If it did not cause me pain, I probably wouldn’t be moved to pray daily for my husband’s reversion. But I am firmly convicted that, at this point in my life, this is my cross. This is my path to holiness, not my excuse for laziness in prayer. As I have prayed through the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the rosary (the Luminous mysteries aren’t traditionally prayed in a 54-day rosary novena), I’ve been reminded starkly that Jesus and Mary know our pain; they both felt it in their own earthly lives. If we unite our suffering with Our Lord and Our Lady, we will grow in faith and spirit.

And further, this verse from the Joyful mysteries has kept coming back to me:

For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. (Luke 1:49)

The devil wants us to feel that our quest for holiness is doomed, that our circumstances make it impossible. He wants us to feel despair, and ultimately, to give up. How can I despair, though, when I look around and see all the wonderful things that the Lord has done for me? Our challenge is to keep our eyes, minds and hearts on those things, to let our hearts sing a Magnificat; and that when we feel sorrow over our perceived obstacles to unity with God, we do not let it become an excuse to give up as the devil wants, but to lean ever closer into the suffering, redemptive love of our Saviour.

Prayers of Elisabeth Leseur

Sometimes it can be difficult to find our own words of prayer. Thankfully, the Church has a rich tradition of beautiful prayers, in addition to a whole host of saints who have given us words of prayer to use when our own words fail us. Here, I will list some prayers recorded in Elisabeth Leseur’s diary for you to use in your own life and marriage.

 

My God, help me to carry the cross Thou hast offered me, and let none of this precious grace of suffering be lost to me or to the souls Thou lovest.

I want to love Thee and Thee alone, O my Saviour – not the great joys Thy child sometimes receives from Thee. Help me to detach myself more and more from passing things and to attach myself to Thee. Give me the grace of being […] Thine instrument with souls, those who are dear to me, and those whom I do not know but who need my humble intercession with Thee.

My beloved, I believe the joy of reunion will surpass the pain of separation and waiting, and that then we shall live. You who can see and know, obtain for us a feeble ray of this eternal light to guide and illuminate us.

O Lord, […] I implore Three to come to him, to come to them, and let them live, let them live the interior life deeply, and also an outer life renewed by Christianity. The harvest is plentiful; my God, let them be blessed labourers in it; let their life and mine be a work of beauty and love, and let us labour together for the coming of Thy kingdom in the world and in souls.

Help me, my God, and without my knowing it, use me for a little good. [L]et me be the rough vessel giving forth light and warmth. Thou art that light; come and enlighten, through me, the souls that infinitely dear to me. What a joyful day it will be when those souls shall know and love all that Thou hast made me know and love, I who am poor, insignificant, and weak – that day when I shall be able to reveal to them the soul Thou hast truly recreated in me.

 

A morning prayer for my marriage

Lord,

Thank You for the gift of a new day of marriage.

A new chance to love better;

To serve better;

To embrace my vocation.

I ask you, Lord, to help me embrace my cross,

As You embraced Yours,

Out of love.

I pray, Lord, that You will show my spouse Your love,

That he will come to know You, love You and follow You,

Not for my sake,

But for his.

I am sorry, Lord, for when I have failed to reflect Your love,

Your compassion, Your mercy and Your patience.

I beg You, Lord, to use me, Your humble servant,

To shine Your light in my marriage today.

In Jesus’ name. Amen.