"If a person admits that he has been unkind, impatient, and selfish, invariably that is caused by his failure to let God love Him enough in prayer. No one confesses sins against charity who in in the same breath does not confess missing hist time for God in prayer." Father Angelus M Shanghessy, Order of Friar Minor, Capuchin.
This quote, shared by my Carmelite, teacher was a little kick in the pants for me. Crabbiness and pregnancy need not go hand in hand! My problem is that I give myself a complete pass on most of my prayer routine since I'm so tired as a result of a pregnancy. Then I'm shocked that I don't have enough charity to get through the day without losing patience with my other three children and blame my nastiness on my pregnancy, rather than my lack of prayer time.
When I'm this physically weak I need to give God MORE time to love me in prayer, and all of "His" love will easily overflow in my daily interactions with my children and spouse.
"We can love others freely because we have been loved first by God in prayer."
Another thought from my Carmelite class:
All virtues are attributes of God. If we are "good", it is not because of ourselves. It's the Lord's "stuff" coming through us. That's why one of the marks of your prayer life isn't the feeling that you get in the moment.
Can you see new virtues growing in your life? That is the "footprint of God." That's the proof that He's been with you, deepening his dwelling place in your soul. The fruit of prayer is the growth in virtue.
Stop hoping for great consolutions or happy feelings during prayer. Did you get through your school day with a smile on your face? Did you keep silent in the face of a personal attack? That is proof that your extra prayer time in Lent is working.
Keep a look out for your growth in virtue this Lent and don't hope to levitate off the floor during Morning Prayer!