Show Me Your Hands



“Show me your hands. Do they have scars from giving? Show me your feet. Are they wounded in service? Show me your heart. Have you left a place for divine love?” ~Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

The Power in a Mother’s Prayers! – By Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

Note from the Chair:

Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle is among the most gracious people I know. It was through reading one of her books that I finally memorized the Memorare. She even sent me the miraculous medal I wear around my neck every day. Perhaps it was through her friendship with Bl. Mother Teresa, but Donna-Marie seems to have internalized the love of Christ in a way that causes her to radiate that love and concern for others almost instinctively. Hers is truly an apostolate of encouragement, and we’re privileged to feature her guest blog post today.

While you’re here, please consider leaving a prayer request for Br. Rex, and making a contribution to our Home for a Hermit campaign.

Thank you for visiting, and enjoy!


The Power in a Mother’s Prayers!

By Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle

     Pope John Paul II gave us some poignant words to ponder. He told us that prayer is related to our very humanity and the first condition for authentic freedom of spirit. Specifically, he said, “It should never be forgotten that prayer constitutes an essential part of the Christian life, understood in its fullness and centrality.  Indeed, prayer is an important part of our very humanity; it is ‘the first expression of man’s inner truth, the first condition for authentic freedom of spirit’” (Pope John Paul II, Address at the Mentorella Shrine, October 29, 1978).

     How can mothers improve their prayer lives? How can we come closer to Our Lord? Is it possible for a busy mother to do so? We learn in John’s Gospel that in order to deepen our relationship with Jesus, we must meet Jesus at the “well” for living water on a regular basis so that our thirst will be satiated. We are told: “But those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give them will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life” (John 4:14). 

     I believe that we discover that “well” in prayer; whether it be before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, within the Sacraments, or within the walls of our “domestic churches” where we are busy raising our families.

     As Christians, we are also instructed: “Pray constantly…always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father” (1 Thess. 5:17; Eph. 5:20). How does a mother in the trenches with diaper changes, feedings, sick children, and overfilled laundry hampers pray constantly? 

     Well, a faithful mother finds that she absolutely needs to develop a deep prayer life for strength and guidance for rearing her family along with her husband within a culture that constantly undermines and contradicts their Christian beliefs. 

     It’s challenging and even really difficult to do while feeling battered by the culture, but in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, we are reminded to, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” The Catechism tells us that, “Every joy and suffering, every event and need can become the matter for thanksgiving which, sharing in that of Christ, should fill one’s whole life” (CCC no. 2648).  

     Consequently, we see that we can and should make use of the unlimited occasions throughout our daily lives for giving thanks in prayer; every joy, event, and suffering, can become opportunities for prayer—and grace! 

     In short, we can transform our daily lives into powerful prayers, even while we are so busy with our mothering. We do this by beseeching our Lord for His grace and blessings, asking for guidance and giving thanks—always! 

     Blessed Teresa of Calcutta said, “We must make our homes centers of compassion and forgive endlessly.” This is a challenging task for a worn out mother, yet it surely is the secret to happiness in our families. We must consistently give with love and forgiveness to know authentic peace in our hearts and to see God at work in our homes.

     Once we admit to ourselves that our family is a huge work in progress and that while we are called to holiness, our Lord knows full well that we don’t have glowing halos hovering over our heads (yet!); we’ll calm down and get with the program. We’ll work hard but not be so hard on ourselves and we’ll realize that every single thing that happens throughout our days is an opportunity for grace.

Food for the Soul

     Mothers, as we know have been entrusted with the care and nurturing of their children. However, equally as important as the food for their children’s stomachs is the food for their souls. Sadly, there are mothers all around our world who neglect to feed this spiritual hunger in their families. Let’s pray for them. Let’s be a loving example to them. In order for a mother to form her children in the faith and in prayer, she must be sure to form it within herself first. She must draw closer to God through a deep and constant prayer life. 

     A mother may struggle to find specific dedicated prayer times throughout her busy days because she is at the service of her children who constantly need her attention in one way or another. Throughout her mothering, she may not have much opportunity to break away from her routine. Since a mother fully realizes that her days are filled to capacity with the care of others, she finds that she should dedicate her entire day to the Lord beginning the first thing in the morning; offering all of her prayers, works, joys, and sufferings as her morning offering to God and asking that they become a means to her salvation and of her family, as well. 

     She then knows that she has offered her Lord everything—craziness and all, and has asked Him to bless every part of it. Her day has then started off on the right foot. She realizes that there might not be many occasions, particularly when her children are very young and requiring a lot of hands-on care, when she can get down on her knees to pray, hence she offers to God all of her many loving acts of service to her family from where she has been called to serve from the heart of her home. Of course, she also strives to find those other moments—the contemplative ones, but she learns to be content with what our good Lord gives her. He knows what is best.

     A mother will undoubtedly grow in holiness as she strives to keep her heart and mind lifted to Heaven whenever she is able, while she is going about her duties in the home. A mother strives to find the opportunities for her dedicated prayer time, as well as being sure to dedicate her entire day to the Lord so that all of her actions will be blessed and a means to her sanctification and for the sanctification of her family. 

Amazing Sanctification Opportunities

     I love that mothers are provided by God with an amazing opportunity for sanctification for their families. Being obedient to our state of life and lovingly responding to the needs within our vocation can work miracles—all by God’s amazing grace!

     Perhaps we can learn from St. John Vianney, Cure of Ars, who so beautifully and passionately expressed his love for God in a prayer he wrote. 

I love you, O my God, and my only desire is to love you until the last breath of my life.  I love you, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving you, than live without loving you.  I love you, Lord, and the only grace I ask is to love you eternally…My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love you, I want my heart to repeat it to you as often as I draw breath.

     His words give mothers a cause to pause and ponder. Can we also courageously and with complete trust, offer every breath for love of our Lord?  Yes, I believe we can!

     Love is the certain source of prayer; whoever draws from it reaches the summit of prayer. (Adapted from CCC 2658) When a mother’s heart is burning with love for her God and her family, she too can ask our Lord if her every breath can become a prayer of love to Him. She can ask if her acts of loving service within her family can be transformed into prayers of love to Him.

     We learn about a parent’s dignity and mission and very specific responsibility to guide their children in the faith from Familiaris Consortio.

By reason of their dignity and mission, Christian parents have the specific responsibility of educating their children in prayer, introducing them to gradual discovery of the mystery of God and to personal dialogue with Him: ‘It is particularly in the Christian family, enriched by the grace and the office of the sacrament of matrimony, that from the earliest years children should be taught, according to the faith received in Baptism, to have a knowledge of God, worship Him and love their neighbor.

     Mothers should call upon the grace from the sacrament of matrimony which is available for asking! Our Lord will provide much grace to facilitate the lessons in prayer within the walls of the home. A mother can and should pray in her children’s presence. She can offer little prayers of aspiration to our Lord and His Blessed Mother as she feeds her infants and cares for her children. They will learn by her example. As they grow, she teaches them to bless themselves with the Sign of the Cross and encourages them to enter into a dialogue with Jesus and His Blessed Mother. These will be the formative building blocks of prayer instilled in her children’s hearts that they will draw upon throughout life.

Transforming and Hopeful Domestic Prayer

     There are three areas in which Christian mothers develop their prayer lives: 1) They need to shape a strong prayer life of their own, 2) Teach their children to cultivate their own personal prayer lives, 3) As well as to encourage and facilitate family prayer. A mother needs a well-built foundation of personal prayer to stand strong at the center of the heart of her home where she cares for her family. She should teach her children to pray each day, encouraging them to pray with her as well as on their own. They will learn that prayer is a very beautiful thing – it is a conversation with God! Family prayer is necessary to keep the family unit intact. Blessed Teresa always said, “A family that prays together stays together.”

     There may be times throughout the tapestry of motherhood when a Christian mother might be required to trust in our Lord’s mercy and His promises while she relates to St. Monica’s pleadings in prayer for her wayward son, Augustine. Even when a very strong foundation of prayer is laid down in the family, our older children may go astray temporarily, getting side tracked off the narrow path; searching to find their own way. 

     It is then when we double up on our prayers and sacrifices and trust that our Lord hears the prayers of a faithful mother and that the words to St. Monica from her bishop regarding her son, St. Augustine apply to all mothers. “God will never turn His ear from a woman of all those tears.” We should know that the foundation of prayer that we have built for our children will undoubtedly remain with them, holding them up “and leave an impression that the future events in their lives will not be able to efface,” as Pope John Paul II has told us. 

     We must never give up on hope! We must be faithful in prayer for our families always! Our Lord is counting on us. A mother’s work for the sanctification of her children is never finished until all of her children are safe in Heaven!  She prays constantly for them, no matter how old they are. She prays for them even after she has gone to her Heavenly reward where her prayers are even more powerful. Amazing!

     Let’s meet Jesus at the well of prayer often.

~Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, EWTN TV Host and author of nineteen books, including: Catholic Mom’s Café: 5-Minute Retreats for Every Day of the Year, Mother Teresa and Me, and The Miraculous Medal: Stories, Prayers, and Devotions learn more here: 

A Life Dictated By Selfishness

God is the Living One; Jesus brings us the life of God; the Holy Spirit gives and keeps us in our new life as true sons and daughters of God. But all too often, people do not choose life, they do not accept the “Gospel of Life” but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, because they are dictated by selfishness, self-interest, profit, power and pleasure, and not by love, by concern for the good of others. It is the eternal dream of wanting to build the city of man without God, without God’s life and love – a new Tower of Babel. It is the idea that rejecting God, the message of Christ, the Gospel of Life, will somehow lead to freedom, to complete human fulfillment  As a result, the Living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death. The wisdom of the Psalmist says: “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes” (Ps 19:8). ~Pope Francis, June 16, 2013

Saint John Paul II

“True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather, it lies in the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school and at work, and in social and political involvement.” ~Saint John Paul II

Saint John XXIII

“Every believer in this world of ours must be a spark of light, a center of love, a vivifying leaven amidst his fellow men. And he will be this all the more perfectly, the more closely he lives in communion with God in the intimacy of his own soul.” ~St. John XXIII

Seek the Risen Christ

We must seek Christ in the word and in the bread, in the Eucharist and in prayer. And we must treat him as a friend, as the real, living person he is — for he is risen. Christ, we read in the Epistle to the Hebrews, “holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who draw near to God, since he always lives to make intercession for them.”

Christ, the risen Christ, is our companion and friend. He is a companion whom we can see only in the shadows — but the fact that he is really there fills our whole life and makes us yearn to be with him forever. “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And let him who hears say, Come. And let him who is thirsty come, let him who desires take the water of life without price… He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” ~St. Josemaria Escriva; Christ is passing by, 116)

The Church’s Missionary Mandate

“The proclamation of the Word of God has Christian conversion as its aim: a complete and sincere adherence to Christ and his Gospel through faith. Conversion is a gift of God, a work of the Blessed Trinity. It is the Spirit who opens people’s hearts so that they can believe in Christ and “confess him” (cf. 1 Cor 12:3); of those who draw near to him through faith Jesus says: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (Jn 6:44).

“From the outset, conversion is expressed in faith which is total and radical, and which neither limits nor hinders God’s gift. At the same time, it gives rise to a dynamic and lifelong process which demands a continual turning away from “life according to the flesh” to “life according to the Spirit” (cf. Rom 8:3-13). Conversion means accepting, by a personal decision, the saving sovereignty of Christ and becoming his disciple.” (Bl. Pope John Paul II, REDEMPTORIS MISSIO: On the permanent validity of the Church’s missionary mandate, #46)

Guest Post from Sarah Reinhard: The Bells Draw Me Back

Note from the Chair:

Sarah Reinhard is a self-described “Catholic wife and mom who has a bit of an obsession with reading, horses, and things geeky.” This may be true, but she’s also an extremely gifted writer, with several books to her credit and a fantastic blog, Beyond that, she exudes the authenticity of someone whose experiences – combined with a wonderfully quirky sense of humor – make for consistently good reading. We’re deeply grateful to have Sarah as our guest blogger today.   

While you’re here, please consider leaving a prayer request for Br. Rex, and making a contribution to our Home for a Hermit campaign.

Thank you for visiting, and enjoy!


Bells calling you to prayer sure seemed like a good idea. So good, in fact, that I’ve had my phone set to remind me for a couple of years.

It’s a ringtone I’ve learned to explain in different ways.

“Oh, it must be time to think about dinner!”

“Ah, yes, this is what we work-at-home moms do, lest we lose track of time!”

“Mind if I pause for a minute? I just need to say thanks to God.”

Truth be told, I don’t use that last one much. In part, because I’m a wimp. And in part because I’ve learned to just silence the alarm without explanation.

So does my prayer count, even if it’s a two-second “Hey God, gotta go!”?

The idea behind setting up the alarms was one that was inspired by a friend’s book mentioning the Ignatian practice of a daily (and through-the-day) examen. I adapted it to a three-time-a-day grateful prayer, which was inspired by a different friend’s morning tweeting. This friend begins each morning with a #gratefultweet (that’s the hashtag). I started doing it and it’s become a different sort of public prayer for me.

Saying thanks for muddy footprints, wet doggy fur, and spilled Kool-Aid isn’t easy some days. It’s even hard to actually accept the grace to be grateful for things like unexpected hospital visits, difficult relationships, and another fast food dinner.

And yet, when my 5:30 bell rings, I’ll turn, however briefly, to God. He may not see the whites of my eyes (much) or hear a whole lot from me. I may be up to my elbows in dinner prep, homework help, and chore duty. All the same, that bell will ring. And it will draw me, once again, to my Source.

Sarah Reinhard is a Catholic wife, mom, writer, and coffee-chugger who’s online at

Easter Tuesday

“The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over evil, truth over falsehood, life over death.” ~Pope Francis, 2014 Urbi et Orbi message