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Catholic Activity: Work and Prayer

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  • 21+
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Help your children to be aware of their opportunity to supernaturalize their daily chores and lift their work to God as a form of prayer.

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And that brings us to work as a form of prayer, and helping children understand that work done for the love of God is as tangible an act of love as if they were to run to Him with an embrace.

In the beginning, learning to make one's bed, dry the dishes, polish shoes, is fun and a kind of play at being grown up, but soon the novelty wears off and the chores that started out being fun can lose their glamour and become unpleasant drudgery. If they are prayer, however, it can be different. Not that tasks one hates doing are suddenly transformed into occasions of great spiritual joy; but there is a great difference between doing them because you are told you must, and doing them because they can be applied to the sufferings of some other child somewhere, who has no bed to make, who must spend his nights curled up in a hole, shivering, starved, unhappy, with no one to care for him. Then there is a good reason to try to make one's bed with care instead of pulling up the covers to hide the rumples underneath. Then this — smoothing the sheets, and this — squaring the corners, and this — plumping the pillows, can be small ceremonies of love from a small girl who does them because Christ can use them as balm for one of His suffering members. And one of the loveliest things about teaching children that work is prayer is that mothers cannot help having it rub off on them. These dipes that are washed daily, these meals that are cooked again and again, these floors that are scrubbed today only to get dirty tomorrow, these are as truly prayer in a mother's vocation as the watches and prayers of the religious are in theirs.

Activity Source: We and Our Children by Mary Reed Newland, Image Books, 1961

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