Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Helping moms grow in faith one step at a time
In today's post on Catholic mom-writers, I'm talking with Danielle Bean, mother of eight, editorial director of Faith & Family, and author (with Elizabeth Foss) of the newly released "Small Steps for Catholic Moms: Think. Pray. Act. Every Day" (Circle Press). Danielle talked to me about the need for Catholic mothers to support each other and to find ways to bring prayer into the daily events of their lives.
"We women are so great at tearing each other apart. As much as we’re great at tearing each other apart, we can get great at building each other up and encouraging each other in Christian living. That’s something we want to encourage more women to do in their parishes and their communities or even with just a couple of friends or online because connecting with other women is such a powerful thing," says Danielle, whose new book has a prayer journal/study guide companion piece to help moms grow in faith on their own or in a group setting.
As a busy mom herself, Danielle recognizes that it's not always easy for mothers to fit long sessions of formal prayer into days that often include running from soccer games and volunteer activities to making dinner and helping with school work. The key for Catholic moms, she says, is to remember that even "attaching bits of prayer" to certain times or events of the day can add up to big spiritual gains. Those 'small steps' are pleasing to God and lead to big steps in the end.
"Ultimately the goal for anybody who is living an active vocation is to recognize that that does not have to be contradictory to growing closer in your relationship with God and advancing in holiness because this is what God intends for you. It doesn’t mean that you can’t have a Christ-centered life because you’re busy with all these things. I think the key is recognizing the way in which God intends you to do that. Maybe He doesn’t mean for you to spend hours every day in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, but He may very well mean for you to turn your heart toward Him many times a day that would add up to a lot more.
"I always think about how when my toddler was 2- or 3-years-old, how they want to share everything with me. Whether they get hurt or if they have some accomplishment when they’re playing with a toy or building something, their first instinct is to turn toward me, to share that moment with me. It’s like it’s not complete for them until they’ve shared it with me. I find that so precious and I try to keep it in mind because we’re all children of God and that’s what He wants from us too, for us to have that natural inclination of turning toward Him in all of our joys and sorrows and to never consider any part of our day complete until we share it with Him, until we experience it with Him."
To learn more about "Small Steps," visit Danielle's website by clicking HERE, or visit the Small Steps blog HERE. Check the May 9 issue of Our Sunday Visitor for my feature story on Catholic motherhood, which includes a longer interview with Danielle, by clicking HERE (open to subscribers only).