I’m a huge proponent of retreats. In the past, I’ve shared how important it is for busy mothers to take time away from the chaos to nourish themselves. It’s difficult to do but worth every stolen moment.
Sometimes, though, getting away really is impossible. Pregnancy, family crises, traveling spouses or having young ones at home can make even a weekend jaunt to a retreat house seem an unlikely dream. And yet, isn’t it true we need a renewed perspective in such times more than ever?
There’s always a Plan B, and today I’m going to share about one I’ve stumbled upon through the newest book from my friend Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle.
“Catholic Mom’s Cafe” is a book filled with snippets that serve as 5-minute retreats for each day of the year. These shouldn’t replace the larger retreat you deserve, but will help you get by in the meantime.
For me, this book was perfectly timed. Over Lent I dedicated the first hour of my morning to prayer, which included a book that involved 40 days of spiritual reflection. I really came to look forward to this time each morning when I would be fed with Scripture and reflection, quotes from a saint, and would be prompted to say a formal prayer as well, like the Our Father. But when the 40 days were up, I’d reached the end of the book. Disappointment crept in.
Then Donna-Marie’s book arrived in the mail: problem solved!
In the introduction, Donna-Marie calls motherhood a “miraculous vocation” and promises her book will help us savor all of our “beautiful and blessed motherly moments.”
But she’s real about the miracle, noting that sometimes, it comes through the simple fact that we’ve managed to make it through the day! Donna-Marie wants to lighten the load we mothers carry, and to do that, she offers what she calls “daily vitamins” to energize and help the reader find the faith, hope and love needed to be the mom God wants us to be each day of the year.
Each entry includes the following sections: Ponder (readings from Scripture and other sources), Offer (an easy activity or idea), Pray (suggested prayers matching the daily theme) and Savor (something small to help carry us through the day).
Autographed copies can be purchased through Donna-Marie’s website, as well as through Our Sunday Visitor, or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and your local Catholic bookstore. She’s also got a blog dedicated to the book and a television series patterned after it here. Finally, you can connect with Donna-Marie and her book through Facebook here.
Happy pondering, offering, praying and savoring!
Peace Garden Writer