Knights of Columbus Bishop Busch Council 4863


  Home Page



About the Knights of Columbus



Chores Can Be Prayer, Too

These days, many people feel like they don't have time for prayer or devotions. Household duties or a job's demands may not leave time for getting to Mass or adoration, or saying the Rosary as often as we like.

This article won't put more hours in our day, but it might help us discover an often-unused way to pray.

For many people, "prayer" means saying the Rosary, spending time with the Lord in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, or engaging in a formal prayer like a novena. These are good practices, with a long and cherished history in the church.

There are other ways to pray. St. Frances de Sales wrote that the most touching example of holiness shown by St. Catherine of Siena was not the visions, the locutions, or the wisdom she displayed. It was the sight of her turning the meat at the spit, or cleaning the house, or clearing away the dishes after meals. The reason these everyday actions were so touching was that she did these things with genuine love, imagining herself to be serving dinner to our Lord, or clearing the table of the apostles. She tried to show the same love and respect for the family she was serving.

St. Frances of Rome said that if someone was in the presence of God Himself at the altar, that person should leave immediately if summoned by an urgent family need.

St. Therese of Liseux may have summed up the idea best: "Do small things with great love."

"Praying our marriage" or praying our family" is what Catholic psychiatrist George Popcak calls this principle of doing everyday duties in a prayerful way.

One example he gives is a morning when he had been up until 2:00, finishing a project. He didn't have any commitments until 10:00, so he could have slept in. His wife had an appointment at 7:30. When she got up, he felt like staying in bed. But, he wrote, "I felt God knocking at the door of my heart." He believed that God wanted him to show his wife how special she was. Specifically, he should get her something for breakfast, since she was running late. He got up and fixed her breakfast.

That simple bagel and juice, served at God's request, was a kind of prayer.

Getting off the couch to play with the kids could be an exercise in the virtue of generosity. Doing the dishes without being asked, instead of finishing a great book or going fishing could be a way to show charity and love for your wife. Speaking lovingly to the kids, when they have frayed the last end of your last quivering nerve is practicing the virtue of patience.

Prayer is conversation with God. The point of that conversation, Popcak writes, "is to invite God into our everyday lives …." We invite God into our lives when we ask for the grace to show His face through our service, and through our practice of the virtues of patience, fortitude, and more.

Marriage is a sacrament. Everything we do in that relationship has been consecrated by God, and so the little tasks of domestic life become moments of prayer: if we see them as part of our marriage and conduits of God's grace.

So, making time for daily Mass is good. Saying the Rosary as often as you can is good, and so are other formal prayers. But so is taking out the garbage, if it is done for the glory of God.

As Popcak wrote, "invite God to consecrate this moment. Ask God to teach you how to ‘pray your marriage.'"

The ideas and quotes in this article are from Praying your marriage by George Popcak, a Catholic psychotherapist, in Family Foundations, March-April 2004, a publication of The Couple to Couple League.

Couple to Couple League (800 745 8252)

George Popcak (740 266 6461) www.exceptional

Brian H. Gill, Editor, Sauk Centre K of C Bulletin

September 2004

"The Da Vinci Code:" History as it Never Was

Same Stone in Loreto Altar, Nazareth Grotto

Roe v. Wade and the Real World

Is Sally Fields Human?

Silent Night, Holiday Night

Father Michael McGivney and the Knights of Columbus

Mexican Martyrs and the Knights of Columbus

Katrina, Catholic Charities, and KC

Igor! I Need More Bodies!

Benedict XVI: From POW to Pope

Doesn't This Just Kill You?

John Paul the Great

Holy Father Back in Gemelli Hospital

Modesty: Living in Balance

"Healing the World"

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Voting and the Catholic Citizen

Chores Can Be Prayer, too

I Could Just Die!

Some Quotes for an Election Year

Current Chaplain's Report

Chaplain's Report Archive


Back to List of Articles


Brian H. Gill, webmaster

This page last updated December 19, 2010