We loved Barbara Bartocci's little book Grace on the Go: 100 Quick Ways to Pray and called it "a gem . . . with its wide-ranging examples of how we can make every moment a devotional one." Now the national award-winning author of nine books has written another one in the same style. This paperback offers felicitous ways to prayerfully overcome money worries.
In these difficult times of financial crisis, people are very worried about paying their bills and making ends meet. Bartocci suggests a prayer adapted from an affirmation in the Bible: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." She also shares the idea of putting all your worries in a bag and then once a day pouring them all out in a 15-minute period of time. Thank God for becoming free of worry and then put the bag away.
The author believes that we can do a lot to ease our money worries by discerning the difference between wants and needs. Here is a prayer that addresses that issue:
The Fulfillment Prayer
"Just enough" is a fearless place,
A trusting place.
The place where I pray to stop.
Save me from excess and clutter, Lord.
Give me the grace to feel complete
When I have "just enough."
Bartocci states that the belt-tightening many of us are going through is a good thing and certainly better than the reckless consumerism of the past several years. Less is more, and it is high time that we realize we already possess many spiritual riches. The author delivers the practice of keeping a money autobiography so we can see the ideas and ideals we have picked up from our parents and our culture. She then presents 12 Prayerful Actions for Simpler Living including these two practices to connect with God:
• "Make a driveway meditation. Before starting your car for the morning commute, place your hands slightly on the steering wheel and breathe deeply. Ask God to steer you through the day."
• "Pump in the spirit. Need gas? As you fill your car, ask God to fill you with loving kindness toward everyone you meet that day. (Yes, even the driver who almost cuts you off as you're turning out of the gas station.)"
Bartocci covers the turf with other chapters on debt, from scarcity to simple abundance, the gift of giving, happiness, and trouble spots in the ways we handle our money. We especially appreciated a section in the book where the author shares "Twelve Ways to Increase Life's Joys." We also liked this "Prayer of Attention:"
Money can slip through my fingers.
So can precious minutes of my life.
Both can be wasted if I don't pay attention.
Oh Holy Spirit, give me the grace
To pay more attention to
The money I spend, and
The minutes I spend.
I pray to use both of them wisely.