Praying on the Go
Book Spotlight on Grace on the Go by Barbara Bartocci
by Lisa M. Hendey
As a busy wife and mother, I frequently lament my lack of consistent prayer time. I recently had a great conversation with a sixty-something year old grandmother, who shared with me about her Morning Prayer ritual. She described the corner nook in her bedroom where a cozy, overstuffed chair welcomed her each morning for her sunrise meditation. Tea in hand, she greets each day with an hour long session of spiritual reading, silent meditation and prayer. Her children are grown and her morning hours are her own to plan - she prioritizes her prayer time at the beginning of each new day.
Despite my best efforts, I must confess to frequently neglecting a long period of prayer and meditation each morning. That time all too often gets eaten up by parental duties and work, as I race to complete the multitude of tasks that litter a Mom's daily "to do" list in the limited hours of each day. There never seems to be enough time – intellectually and spiritually I know that prayer is tantamount to what I consider to be a “good day” – it is the key ingredient to my existence. But unlike my woman friend and her cozy morning ritual, my prayers seem to happen more often “on the fly”. I call on God frequently each day, but rarely from the seat of a chair. More often it’s in a parking lot, a supermarket, aside a sports field, or even while I’m brushing my teeth. I’ve long been concerned about making these prayers “count”, about making them substantive, rather than simply plaintive.
A new book out from award winning author Barbara Bartocci has breathed fresh air and energy in to my prayer life. In Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray (Morehouse Publishing, paperback, 98 pages, May 2006), Bartocci acknowledges life’s frantic pace and offers her readers support and encouragement for making active, frequent prayer a part of their lives. In the beginning of the book, Bartocci describes her own frustration over trying to lead a truly spiritual life. With the following words, Bartocci hits at the heart of what, in my book, makes her Grace on the Go so special:
“And I realized that “living spiritually” is not something that exists out there. It’s a commitment to make our lives – as they unfold – a gift to God.”
Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray is not like other tomes on prayer I’ve seen – it’s designed to be read in small bits. From its diminutive 2.6 ounce design to its format of being written in small segments, the book lends itself to any active life. Tuck it into your purse or diaper bag. Slip it into the front zipper pocket of your organizer. Set it in the glove compartment or cup holder of your car. Then pick it up and dive in. It doesn’t matter which page you land on when you open the book – you’ll find immediate inspiration and motivation. I’ve been enjoying and frequently reading it during my daily activities and have found it to be a wonderful spiritual resource.
In the closing pages of the book, Barbara Bartocci references Mother Theresa's statement that the busier her life became, the greater her need for prayer. The same holds true for you and I - grace comes in finding moments each day, no matter where life puts us, to turn our hearts to God.
For more information on Grace on the Go: 101 Quick Ways to Pray visit http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0819222305/catholicmomcom
Lisa M. Hendey is a mother of two sons, webmaster of numerous web sites, including http://www.catholicmom.com and http://www.christiancoloring.com, and an avid reader of Catholic literature. Visit her at http://www.lisahendey.com for more information.