St. Vincent on Interruptions to Prayer

Do you Mommies out there get discouraged and frustrated with the Liturgy of the Hours (or any prayer or spiritual reading for that matter) because of constant interruptions from little ones?

 In the Office of Readings for his feast day,  St. Vincent de Paul offers all the reassurance we can possibly need. He is referring to the poor that his disciples cared for in the slums of France. But our our little ones are surely the poor in spirit. They keep us feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, instructing the ignorant, wiping noses of the runny, and cleaning bottoms of the dirty all day long.

 If a needy person requires medicine or other help during prayer time, do whatever has to be done with peace of mind. Offer the deed to God as your prayer. Do not become upset or feel guilty because you interrupted your prayer to serve the poor. God is not neglected if you leave him for such service. One of God’s works is merely interrupted so that another can be carried out. So when you leave prayer to serve some poor person, remember that this very service is performed for God. Charity is certainly greater than any rule.

Back in the day when the chances of  completing morning and evening prayer straight through was a fifty-fifty proposition or less, I liked to imagine the angels would complete it for me. In fact, the church universal completes it for you. Let not your hearts be troubled. 


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Daria Sockey is a freelance writer from western Pennsylvania. Her articles have appeared in many Catholic publications. She authored several of the original Ignatius Press Faith and Life catechisms in the 1980s, and more recently wrote five study guides for saints' lives DVDs distributed by Ignatius Press. She now writes regularly for the newly revamped Catholic Digest. Her newest book, The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours, will be published by Servant Books this spring. Feel Free to email her at [email protected]

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