When I decided to open up my coaching to include more than just online personal training and nutrition coaching, I had the idea that busy working moms needed more than support for physical health–they needed to find ways to open space for spiritual health, too. Catholic women in particular can be challenged to find time for God. I know I certainly have! For nearly 12 years I took for granted that I had the time for God. I worked for a Catholic health center and God was the center of our work. If it was a Feast Day, we went to Mass in the hospital chapel. There was no need to worry that you were missing work time. It was understood that you would go. I didn’t realize how lucky I was until I left that position.
“Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His presence continually!”1 Chronicles 16:11
When your organization is not grounded in faith, it can be decidedly harder to make the time for prayer. Attending Mass can be challenging mostly because parish Mass schedules tend to cater to people who are not working full-time outside the home. It’s possible to find a parish that does offer convenient times for working moms, but it’s not the norm. So, how do you figure out how to make the time when the schedules just can’t line up? It takes a bit of concerted effort but it can be done.
Flex Your Schedule
If you can, try to flex your work schedule so you can attend Mass during the week on a Holy day of Obligation. My parish has mass at 7:30 a.m. on those days and since I start work at 8, it’s impossible for me to go to church and make it to work on time. I work 30 minutes from my home so the lunch hour isn’t possible either. I can usually make it to the 5:30 p.m. Mass, if I get right out of work on time and there’s no traffic! Still, being able to go in a little later or leave a little earlier makes it easier for me to get to Mass.
Find Masses Closer to Your Place of Employment
Sometimes you have to consider attending Mass at a different location during the week simply because your parish isn’t close to your work. Take me for example. I work a half hour away from my parish. When I need to attend Mass during the week it’s sometimes easier for me to go to the Catholic church near my workplace on my lunch hour. It’s still tricky since I only get a half hour for lunch! But, I try to make that work as best I can. Worst case, you have to leave after Communion but I feel the effort is worth it and it’s better than not attending at all! You can use masstimes.org to find a church near you. This is also a great tool for when you are away from home.
View Mass Online
Since the pandemic, many parishes continue to offer livestreams of their Masses for those who are homebound or who cannot get to Mass for whatever reason. And although you cannot partake in the Holy Eucharist you can still absorb the rest of what the Mass has to offer. This is also a great way to figure out which church family is right for you. I watched dozens of livestream Masses when we moved to a new town during the pandemic. It isn’t a substitute for visiting in person but it’s a good start!
Try to be lenient about when you attend Mass. If you don’t normally go first thing in the morning, but it’s possible, try it out. It might feel different at first but you also might find you enjoy it! You may meet different people in the process, as well. I never used to go to church on Saturdays until a few years ago when our family schedule demanded it. Now, we only go on Saturdays and it’s our new normal. I’m glad churches offer different days and times as options. Some even have Sunday evening Masses. Be flexible with the time and go when you can go, no matter when that might be.
Remember to Pray
If all else fails, remember to pray daily. There are now apps to help guide us through prayer in as little as five minutes a day, if that’s all we have to give. The important thing is to do something. Nothing is too little for God. The effort is what counts and typically, if you start with five minutes, you’ll probably end up spending more. My favorite app is Hallow but there are lots of other free apps that lead you through prayers, readings, meditations, and more. The best part about apps is that you can use them anywhere. My favorite time to pray is in the car. It gives me a full hour each day to devote to God, but I don’t even need that much. On average, I listen to about 25 to 30 minutes and that is plenty of time for prayer and reflection.
Keep a Rosary Nearby
I have a rosary in the car, in my purse, and by my bed. This way, I am likely to have one whenever I need it, or the urge to pray strikes. Apps also have Rosary beads built into them, if you don’t have them handy. Just knowing the beads are nearby helps encourage prayer for me. It might for you, too.
Nothing is impossible for God. God will make sure you have the time for him; you just need to make the time.