Updated: Aug 9, 2019
I'm not sure about you, but the further along into motherhood I got, the more my spiritual life changed. All of this reading about nuns and their rigorous prayer lives in the convent left me definitely inspired to go join a convent, but I had a hard time translating things to my day-to-day life. Right now, it seems that every time I sit down to pray, a baby starts crying or somebody's hungry. Frankly, my prayer life just does not look like what it did before I was married, and especially before I had kids. These two books have been nothing short of my lifeline, from teaching me how to pray for my family to giving me saintly examples of how to live out my vocation well.
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This manual is jam-packed full of things I need. Here are a few of my favorite things about it:
It is great for praying through Mass. Once I was bouncing and nursing babies through Mass, I really could not follow along in my Missal. This book contains prayers to say at each part of the Mass, based on what the priest is doing. It is much more simple to follow than the Missal, and the prayers are specific to mothers (thus containing petitions for your children and spouse).
It is a great handbook on Catholic doctrine. If you ever need a quick reference for the main tenants of our faith, like when your children ask questions or you are evangelizing to a non-Catholic, look no further than your pocket prayer book.
It is a great handbook on motherhood in general. In a few short pages, it taught me more on how to raise your children to be saints than volumes of parenting books could.
It has wonderful prayers for you to pray alone, to pray as a family, and to teach your children. I had a hard time learning how to pray for my children, and this book has some beautiful prayers you can recite daily that do just that.
It makes gaining plenary indulgences easy. It has a list of things you can do to gain them, and usually includes prayers with indulgences attached to them. It has helped me to make gaining indulgences a part of my daily routines, something I never had before!
The Mirror of True Womanhood.
If you want to be inspired, while being held to an incredibly high standard, this is the book for you. It tells you, chapter by chapter, the things you need to do to be a holy wife and mother. It can't get more simple than that, and I really need simple! It tells you in the form of stories of saintly women who you can aspire to imitate. It makes the virtues you need for your vocation easily grasped because it shows you how to implement them. It was written in the 1800s and specifically for women in poor households. Thus, it takes into account women who have to clean, raise their family, and work with a small budget all day, and shows the reader how to use all of this to bring you and your family to Heaven. It could not get much better than that! It's the perfect antidote for the all-to-common "You are enough", feel-good motherhood blog posts that are the norm nowadays. Even if you do not have children yet, I would recommend this book, as a lot of it focuses on being a wife and running a household.
What spiritual reading are you loving right now?